I’m pretty sure all of you have heard the saying, “it’s about the journey, not the destination,” at some point in your life. It’s to help those of us like myself, who really hate waiting. For instance, anytime I go to the movies, even though I know I don’t need to get there a half hour early, I’ll find myself rushing to get to a theater and end up with forty-five minutes of early waiting. I love the destination. The destination is final, not a reference to those cheesy movies, it’s something that is certain and I don’t have to wait any longer. Texts that say, “I can’t wait to tell you something later,” consume my thoughts and make me want to find out what it is now. Cynical people would say it’s because I’m millennial or whatever, but I just like the present, not always the wait to open it. The hard part about me being wired this way, is that I lose sight of the journey. Yes, it’s all coming together, that’s how I like to write.
Another word for journey in the context of life would be, waiting.
I’m reminded of the song that says, “he’s in the waiting.” Referring to God being in the midst of our waiting (The song is, “Take Courage,” by Bethel). I hate being in the waiting, because even though intellectually I know God is with me, emotionally I don’t feel like he’s really there. Better Christians than me will say, “you just have to forget those feelings and be joyful!” Those Christians are using the word joy to mean happy, which is not the same. For Christ followers that are real people, like us, waiting can be very hard. I have friends that have dealt with loneliness, feeling unworthy because they aren’t in a relationship. I know people whose children have gone overseas to be in the military with no guarantee they will return. I know people who every month are devastated when the pregnancy test comes back negative. Waiting is hard and waiting is very real. The journey can be tough, and it’s not easy to just forget the fears that you are hearing.
I want to talk about the journey today, because even though the journey is hard, God is there and he is preparing your heart.
Don’t rush to the ending.
As my wife has begun her work at Disney World, I recently got an annual pass. Basically, I have the chance to come to the parks whenever. I love wandering around. I especially love the Magic Kingdom. Every aspect is designed with amazing detail, you walk down main street and see a massive castle! The thing is, as I am able to just wander around, I see families rushing down the street to make that ride before a line; they sometimes don’t even glance at the castle! My reaction is similar to what I imagine God does when we try to rush through life. I’m sure he’s done it with me, me being mister “I have every detail of the next five years planned out.” We don’t want to wait or stop to enjoy the important moments God is giving us, and I’m sure God goes wild because he wants to present opportunity in the unlikely. I think unplanned fun is great. I remember leading a small group with my friend Nolan, and one night we had a grand total of three students. Nolan had a gift card to Krispy Kreme, and so we both said, “you know what? Let’s get some donuts.” We piled into a car and drove to get some delicious glazed donuts, and guess what, it was the best night of small group. Who cares about the questions written out, we had donuts, and in that moment of unplanned fun, those three students opened up more than ever before.
There could have been a different ending to that story, we could have gone through the questions, but really, it’s awkward to be in that small of a group. Instead of rushing through what was planned, we took advantage of a God-ordained moment that included donuts. Don’t rush the ending, let God open up unplanned moments that can shape your life and the lives of those around you.
You are not a failure.
Everybody compares themselves to others. If you say you don’t, you’re lying but just haven’t admitted it to yourself yet. We like to look at others and immediately put ourselves down because we aren’t where they are. I’m bad about this, I see pastors and writers and wish I was at their level, the only thing is, they are years down the road from me. It can be easy to look at friends and family too and struggle that we are not living the same lifestyles we see on their Instagram and Facebook posts. This is why we struggle with loneliness, depression, and anxiety; we get it in our heads that once you reach a certain age you have to hit the requirements. You graduate high school, go to college, get a fancy job that you’ll totally have forever, get married, get a dog, and have kids. That’s what I believe is known as, the “American Dream.” Only problem is, that’s not the norm. College isn’t for everyone anymore, let alone is it the requirement for jobs. Job’s change and cut people so fast. Not everyone gets married right away or even at all. Some people are allergic to animals, or just don’t want to have that responsibility. And finally, not everyone can have children, or want kids. All of these have changed, but the pressure to meet the unrealistic dream cause us to view ourselves as failures if we don’t add up.
You are enough.
This journey you are on does not follow a formula. God did not create a cool world like ours just to have the people in it be the same. Now, you will sometimes feel like you aren’t enough and I won’t lie to you that you won’t experience fear, but the truth in all of this is, you are enough. If you kill it on the YouTube game and don’t go to college, you are enough. If you just got let go and aren’t sure what’s next, you are enough. If you aren’t dating or looking to be married soon, you are enough. If you don’t want any animals or start an animal hotel, you are enough. If you are not able to have children, you are still enough.
God made you and you are enough.
The journey we are on is called life. Life is weird and wacky, and sometimes, really hard. The thing is, God is with you. In the good and bad, he’s there. He’s even there when you don’t really like him or are angry at him. God is with you in all things, he is shaping you to have a powerful story. This journey we are all on is unknown, there will be plot twists and conflict along the way, but without your journey, you will never make it to the destination. I have to remind myself of this point, every story has a journey, heroes have to go through a journey in order to fulfill their call. You are a hero. No matter what comes your way and whatever you may face, you are on a God-ordained journey.
Trust in your creator and enjoy the journey.
About the Author: Joshua Thomas is a writer by day and superhero by night. When he’s not writing and crimefighting, you can find him reading a good book, sipping warm tea, taking pictures, or dreaming. The young writer doesn’t fully know what he’s doing, but is enjoying the journey of it all. You can tweet memes at him on Twitter @joshua_thomas__ or follow his hipster photos and Jack Kerouac musings on Instagram @joshua_thomas__