Is it possible to be so “destination” focused that we view the “journey” through the wrong lens? SSMF missionary Pastor Ben Grisez, who serves in Australia, unveils what a “destination guy” like himself can glean from a bike ride and a fresh perspective on some familiar verses.
Some people love the journey, and others are focused more on the destination.
I’m more a destination guy.
The knowledge I will ultimately arrive at my intended destination makes even a long journey tolerable.
As I was cycling for exercise today up and down hills, it occurred to me my goal was not a particular destination on the map, but for the purpose of attaining goals of personal fitness.
I was able to enjoy the journey, knowing I was working towards my goals whether I ever arrive there or not.
We make goals and plans, and often they are desires of our hearts given us by God.
We can be so focused on the destination – like setting foot in a mission field – that we face discouragement when the lack of financial support seems to hold us back.
Some people have in their hearts to plant a church, but for some their goal is never realized.
But such efforts are never wasted.
What the Christian must understand is God is faithful to redeem that time to accomplish His purposes.
Our goals are not God’s goals.
We look at the surface, but God looks at the heart.
He uses apparent obstructions, setbacks, and delays to prepare and strengthen us so we will be ready for the next chapter in our lives and ministry.
Considering my own life, I remember clearly when God led me and my family to seek His will for us in Australia.
It was confirmed again and again God was leading us to Australia to serve Him.
My realization of God’s will for our future did not mean it happened instantly.
Years passed, and our goal seemed no closer to culmination.
In those formative years our faith was stretched and our resolve strengthened as we sought the LORD.
God was working in my heart, in the hearts of my wife, children, relatives, and even in hearts of the people where God would establish us.
My goal was to serve God in Australia, but I needed preparation I never thought I did.
God is wise to lengthen our journey and leave our goals unrealized until we have been brought to a place of surrender and trust we could never have otherwise.
Isaiah 55:6-9 “Seek the LORD while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts; let him return to the LORD, and He will have mercy on him; and to our God, for He will abundantly pardon. 8 “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD. 9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.”
God’s thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and so are His plans for us.
He has plans far more important than our goals to accomplish in us through His sanctifying works along the way.
Without the journey, we could never be prepared to arrive, thrive, and endure at our destination.
Trust the LORD, and praise Him for His goodness and mercy towards us!