I've recently latched on to this theory of our faith and our lives being journeys. I first came across it in the Bible study I did last spring, Enjoy by Tianne Moon.
We live in a quick fix, drive through window kind of world. Not only do we want everything, but we want everything right now. Some things just take time. A chili cooked long and slow on the stove tastes much better than one you could prepare in a matter of minutes in the microwave using canned ingredients. Sometimes we decide that the time and effort is worth it and other times we opt out, sacrificing quality for convenience. I think that the same can be said for fixing our problems and dealing with our concerns. Some things are not a quick fix. Some things need to simmer in order to allow everything to take hold. What might you need to give some time in your own life in order for you to truly reap the benefits of quality?
I can think of a few:
Love--The old adage of quality time versus quantity time doesn't really sit too well with me. Children need both. They need to know we are there for them, but quantity isn't everything. I spend a lot of time with my children, but how much of that is quality time? How much attention do I give them? The same goes for others who are important in my life--my husband, extended family, and friends. These relationships also take time in order to season into a rich, delicious relationship. We have to be willing to give of ourselves if we want to reap that benefit.
Change--This is a real area that we cannot expect to see transformation overnight, for ourselves, or in those who we are waiting on to rid themselves of a bad habit or start practicing a good one. I need to be diligent with my children, giving them the same expectations over and over again, and expecting to meet them, so that they work their way deep into who they are. For myself, I have to keep trying to rid myself of those habits that pull me down, and have a negative effect on others as well. But it's not going to happen overnight. Sometimes in order to truly realize change, I have to pray about it for a long time, read the Bible and other advice on ways to conquer it that also remind me of the damage it does, and vigilantly pursue it. But in this area especially, it's almost like a mirage. The closer you get to "reaching the goal," the farther you realize you have to go. I think that this is definitely true as we try to refine our spiritual character, but it can also be true in earthly matters as well. Perhaps you want to be a great golfer. You will improve quite quickly and leave your novice position behind if you were to golf daily, take lessons, and talk with others about their golfing habits. But you aren't going to look back after a year and see how far you've come and just stop, happy with all the progress. No, you want to keep shaving that handicap bit by bit, getting better and better.
Life--Tianne Moon addressed this in the Bible study. She said that there are journey travelers and destination travelers. If you are a journey traveler, you enjoy the whole process, perhaps driving and planning your trip along the way. A destination traveler wants to get there as quickly as possible, waiting for the trip to begin until she has arrived. Each day is a part of our lives. We do not live lives of a destination--reaching the status of Perfect Mom, Gourmet Chef, Disciple of Christ, Pro Golfer. It's a journey. Don't wait for the time that you arrive. Enjoy the journey along the way. Appreciate each step that may bring you closer to your goals, but be sure to acknowledge them as triumphs and milestones in themselves.
And yes, yes, reading Lindsey's blog exhorts reminds me to Just Enjoy the Journey as well. Good thing you haven't trademarked that yet, huh, Lindsey?