Life is a journey. How cliché. But it is. It’s an ongoing process of growth. A messy, chaotic journey with lots of potholes, road construction where we least expect it and prolonged stays in towns we’d rather not visit in the first place.
When I’m going on a trip or on vacation, I usually enjoy the car ride or plane ride; I like the anticipation. But not so in life. Often I just want to hurry up and get there. When I was a kid, I just wanted to be an adult so I could do whatever I wanted. And we all have our “things”. My life will be better when_____. We can fill in the blank with just about anything. When I finish school. When I’m married. When I have a child. When my kids start listening to me. When I get a job. When I get a job I actually like. When I’m single again. When I retire. When I can afford a nicer house.
It can be hard to embrace where we are on the journey at any given time. We’re in a hurry to get somewhere else too often. But each point in our journey has its own advantages as well as disadvantages. Getting married is great, but it doesn’t solve all our problems. Often it creates new ones. Same with having children. If we don’t learn to be happy right where we are, chances are we won’t be happy when we get to that next destination either.
It’s those tough spots where we usually learn the most anyway. We can embrace the good parts and look for the lessons in the not-so-good parts. We might be hoping to get away from a difficult person, but maybe we need to learn lessons about choosing to love when it’s hard or how to forgive or cultivate a positive attitude in the midst of ugliness. Maybe we desperately want to be married, but need to first learn how to be happy with ourselves or trust God to bring us the right person at the right time. Or maybe we need to learn some empathy or to have our heart softened. Maybe we just need to be brought down a notch. Whatever it is, if we look for the lesson, then we won’t have traveled through that bad place for nothing.
But the best part of the journey is that we’re not on it alone, though sometimes it feels that way. There’s One who walks with us. We’re usually so busy worrying about how to get from here to our next destination, that we may miss Him. We’re so busy trying to avoid the potholes of life or fuming about the unexpected construction in our path, that we ignore Him completely. But He’s there. He’s always there. He’s waiting on us to notice. He’s waiting for us to stop and focus on Him, to talk to Him, and more importantly, to *listen* to Him. He’ll help us navigate this crazy, chaotic journey if we will let Him.