Life is a journey not a destination. – Ralph Waldo Emerson
Many use the bible, and even faith, as a means to an end, a road map, a kind of holy GPS tricked up to deliver you to victory, conquering, destiny and eventually, heaven. If I just have enough faith, say the right prayer, believe hard enough, go to church enough, serve enough, do and be enough, then I’ll arrive at my destination. I’ll find joy.
I lived that way for years, white knuckling my faith because God could come through for me at any moment… “hold on, it’s just a little further, maybe just around the next corner.” Always waiting to arrive.
But it doesn’t work like that? Every time I think I have arrived, whether it be in parenting, friendships, marriage, career, faith, and more; a new route comes up, a new journey ensues, the arrival doesn’t take long to become the next starting off point. And whenever I’m on my way to somewhere, something, be it a milestone or a project or a relationship, if all I look at is the end goal, I miss the beautiful scenery on the way.
Because really, it’s both. You’ve always arrived, and you’ve never arrived. That’s the nature of faith (and life and everything. ha!).
Yesterday is over, and it’s not yet tomorrow. You are where you are, right here, right now. In a way, you’ve already arrived with every breath you take.
Living with the desperation of waiting to arrive strips this moment of all the joy it has for you. Even if you’re in the depths of despair, going through great heartache, you are where you. You can’t rush the journey, you can only live it one moment, one day, at a time. And if you pay attention, there’s beauty in it all, no matter how attractive and safe your desired destination appears.
Trust that there will be another day after this, that you’ll arrive at your “destination” in due course. But trust also that this moment? This journey? This halfway point? Has things it wants to arrive to you, too.
The Biblical text and your faith are not road maps to successful living. They’re soulful, insightful, sometimes cryptic, sometimes soothing, hilarious, often confusing, and genuine companions along the way. After all, the journey lasts a lifetime, and you need good friends to travel with.
Written by Liz Milani