The poet Ralph Waldo Emerson said it best, “Life is a journey, not a destination!” But we spend a lot of time trying to get to places or stages in life and not enjoying the beauty of the ride.
My family has taken a few long distance trips across the great landscape of the United States. When my children were younger my wife and I were looking for ways to make their trip more enjoyable. So the kids had movies in the car. As they got a little bit older they would bring their video games along for the trip and now today they simply have all of that contained in their phones. I don’t know how many times my wife tells the kids to pull their heads up and out of their phones to enjoy the surroundings and beauty. I often get caught up, especially on long trips, on just getting to the destination. I want to move fast and get there with little distraction. But what did I miss with the side roads that we could have ventured out on? What beauty did I deprive myself of by simply getting to the spot?
Once we finish our current sermon series it will be 8 weeks on the Journey of Recovery. We wanted to be clear in putting this series together that recovery was not a destination to hurry up and get to. Recovery would be a lifetime of ups and downs, two steps forward and one step back, kind of adventure. We need to allow ourselves the ability to have joy in the ride. We need to take times to celebrate achievements and milestones. We need to party it up when there is the opportunity. This does not mean that we will always be happy in all that we do, because we know this journey will also be filled with grief, pain and struggle. But I believe that we will one day see the beauty in both the celebration and the rough parts of our lives.
Do you need to spend a little bit more time celebrating? Do people know that you have a fun side? Its time to schedule a party at your house and invite some friends, family or strangers you would like to be friends, and celebrate life.
Having you been trying to rush through your grief, pain or recovery and not allowing yourself to have the deep abiding joy of Jesus along for the ride? Then maybe its time to slow down, grab a few trusted friends and process exactly what is going on.
Don’t just shoot for the destination, enjoy the ride!