April 1, 2014

This Journey to the Destination

Our family loves to hike.  We live in a place filled with the wonder and majesty of the Creator and often find ourselves in the Maker’s Presence as we are on the trail.  Usually I’m the caboose.  Yes, I’m the slowest – part of it due now to age and I’ll admit fitness level has a bit to do with it as well.  However, I’ve always stated that it is in large due to the fact that I’m a journey hiker.  A couple of people in our family definitely are destination hikers - conquer the summit; arrive at the viewpoint; reach the goal.  I lag along and call attention to the blossoming wildflower; point out the odd/surprising growth of a tree trying to find sunlight; pause to watch a hawk soar; and find viewpoints along the way (as well as catch my breath!)
I’ve come to appreciate Martin Buber’s (German Jewish Philosopher) statement that “All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveler is unaware.”
There have been many times we have set off into nature and come away with seeing and experiencing so much more that just our original destination.  As I hike, I am conscious of experiencing the course traveled and find joy in doing it not completing it. And what makes that experience so rich is the people I hike with – friends, my kids, my husband…the Creator.

 In a recent time span, life’s road has held some twists and turns – changing direction from what I had planned.  I admit, I’ve been greatly preoccupied with destinations lately.
Career goals, family goals, personal resolutions, relationship goals, to-do lists objectives, schedules, appointments, deadlines --- all these ‘destinations’ have overshadowed my journey lately.  As I paused on this path to Stand Still, I am reminded that “it’s good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters in the end.”

 I pause to call my own attention to the “wildflowers and viewpoints” of the last few miles of my journey in life.  I’m pointing out to myself the “surprising growth”.  And here are a few of the “secret destinations” I’ve discovered I had experienced:
New friendships
Deepened friendships
Freedom from obligations I’d self-imposed that were not meant for me
Release from burdens I was not supposed to carry
Ordinary moments that were extraordinary
Unconditional acceptance and love
Answered prayer
Many answered prayers
Moments – rich and remarkable
Openness to new direction

I am reminded that I may not know what my journey holds but I do know Who holds it.  I know that I am never traveling alone.  There is awe and majesty to be had because He has in store for me immeasurably more than I could’ve ever planned.

Are you journeying through life or ‘destinationing’?  If you pause to view – stand still – what ‘secret destinations’ have been yours?  Who has been traveling with you?

Matthew 28:20 – “And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age.”
Romans 8:38-39 – “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Ephesians 3:20ff – “Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power…to Him be glory.”