• Jesse Smith

Let's start the journey

Have you ever been so focused on the destination that you miss the joy of the journey?


I was thinking about this concept before we begin our family vacation to Ocean Isle, North Carolina. Today, there have been so many loose ends we have tried to tie up before we can actually leave. On that list are a number of things that I would rather not do -- mowing in ninety-degree heat being somewhere near the top.


And as always, there are things that could have been done that we will choose to leave undone.


Tonight, Camille and I will be packing up clothes, swimsuits, beach chairs, snacks, drinks, sand toys, video games (don’t judge), nearly everything except the kitchen sink so that we will have the things that we want when we arrive at the beach.


Fortunately, GoogleMaps says that we are only three and a half hours away from our destination. Unfortunately, I don’t feel like an accomplished driver unless I am able to arrive a good ten minutes ahead of what GoogleMaps says. And here is the tension.


I am a goal-setting, results-oriented person. And sometimes I have reflected and realized that I can achieve a goal AND lose something along the way. Our beach trip as a family is not going to be very enjoyable if I get in a mood on the drive down. Especially, if my family realizes that I am in a mood just because I set an unrealistic expectation on our drive time.


So just to be clear, we want goals as a church. We need milestones that give direction to our communal life together. We need to take time to develop objectives, dreams, hopes and aspirations. We need committees that help define our purpose and focus our energy.


AND we must hold onto those destinations loosely enough that we don’t forfeit the joy of the journey as we pursue those things.

So let’s continue to celebrate. Let’s celebrate the fact that we are able to worship in person without masks again. Let’s celebrate the baptisms and new members that have joined recently. Let’s continue to flesh out vibrant ministries that connect our church with the community to bring wholeness and life. Let’s continue to think of ways to nurture and develop disciples in small groups. Let’s set goals that will only be possible if God shows up in a big way. Let’s pray to that end.


And let’s also turn the radio up and roll the windows down and enjoy the journey of faith.


Life is too short to only care about destinations. Perhaps, in the end, we will find that the journey was somehow the destination all along.


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