achievement life goals

Changing a Destination Mentality

11:54 AMHeather

As I started to relax on the wide open road, surrounded by lush green valleys and gentle mountains on either side, my ever-optimistic husband said, "See? More driving isn't so bad! Just look at this scenery!" 

I had to agree with him. While more driving seemed like poor planning after two days of driving, I had to agree that we would have missed all that Colorado beauty if we hadn't pushed on through three more hours of driving.

"I think I need to be more of an enjoy-the-journey girl. Not just a destination girl," I absently replied.  Then realizing what I said, I added, "That's actually a metaphor for my life." 

I've been mulling that all over, these last few days. How I get so hurried and caught up with the destination and the idea of arriving, that I can tend to get out-of-sorts with the journey along the way. I strive and strive and strive. Missing out on the opportunities to thrive in the moment, in the process... forgetting to pause along the way to enjoy every bit of progress.

Indeed, I need to learn to be an "enjoy-the-journey" person rather than just being about the destination. For all of life -- every moment on earth -- it IS the journey. 

Sometimes in our journey, we get stalled in traffic. Or we miss the turn and misread directions, causing us to need to double back with a u-turn and repeat a section of the road.

The journey can take longer than we think it should. Our best estimate and plans can get detoured. The unexpected happens. A little fender bender or being pulled over for speeding.

The truth is that when I can only see the destination as valuable and enjoyable and worthwhile, then I tend to resent the journey. I tend to rush through it, considering it merely the annoying means to a desired end.

But the journey is the main attraction. The journey is the thing, really. It's the purpose. The meat of it. The sum of our lives is spent on the journey, for the promise to all believers is an eternal destination where every desire is fulfilled and we are finally made whole and complete. 

So I must learn to relish in every step forward, breathing every mile in deeply. Looking out the window to see the beauty all around me, instead of being blinded to it because of tunnel vision to some next goal or next hope fulfilled or task accomplished.

I need to pray for eyes to see every bit of what surrounds me in the paths that God chooses for me every day. Whether it be glorious mountains and breathtaking valleys. 

Or the flat and mundane and monotonous plains that seem never ending and unchanging. 

The traffic jams are not annoyances or delays, but rather times to stop. To pause and sing loudly to the soundtrack playing, or take a breather before the next stretch of the road. 

The u-turns are not failures, but rather times to be sure that I have not missed something I may not have noticed the first time. 

The fender benders? They can serve as reminders of the dangers and how God preserves and protects me every step of the way. 

The speeding tickets? They can become alarm bells to slow down and be cautious.

Oh, yes. I need to quit being about the destination. I need to quit being a destination-only girl. Because it makes me impatient and discontent and frenzied. 

And frankly, it makes me unpleasant. 

It makes me be a girl fueled by performance and achievement, which can blind me to the people and the places around me along the way.

I want to be an enjoy-the-journey girl. I want to choose this outlook, every mile along the way. Every step. I want to soak in the progress. I want to choose to look around and enjoy where I am planted every step and every minute.

I believe it's a shift that can change my life.

And I think I'm not the only one in need of this change.

When we can choose to change our outlook, from seeing only the destination, to soaking in the journey along the way.

Because when we slow down and pause more carefully and intentionally, we will begin to see God more clearly and more fully. 

When we rest in and soak in every place that he has ordained for us. Along every step in our daily paths.

We will see all the glorious ways that he intersects our days rather than only looking forward to someplace he has not yet taken us.

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