The Journey

October 1, 2010

Tonight Jason and I watched one of our favorite shows, NCIS Los Angeles.  Mercedes Benz entertained us during a “brief” commercial break.  At the tail end of their promotion the distinguished older male voice said, “In the end, it really matters.”  Got me thinking, “He’s right.  In the end it really does matter.”  Everything matters.  Unlike the popular song by Queen, which lyrics say “nothing really matters to me,” everything matters because what we do, or don’t do for that matter, affects all of eternity.

Thinking about it in another way, Jason and I honeymooned in Maui, a beautiful week made possible by several generous people.  One of our most memorable outings took all day, “The Road to Hana.”  Someone kindly advised us, “Hana is really nothing, so don’t rush through and miss the whole point. It’s the journey.” Boy, were they right!  We thought to end our day-long journey (which, by the way was relaxing, beautiful, and adventurous) by dipping into the seven pools.  When we got to these supposedly beautiful natural seven pools, we couldn’t swim!  Not allowed due to high waters from the recent rains.  So, we went on a hike.

The hike definitely turned out to be a worthy excursion.  We climbed along a beautiful tree, branches long and twisting over one another, dipping to the ground; a boys dream (and my hubby’s to).  We saw several smaller water falls, each uniquely majestic.  Both of us enjoyed the mysterious bamboo forest with a nice boardwalk guiding us across a bridge.  We almost turned back since daylight started to warn us of it’s end, but Jason kept saying “just a little further” or “let’s see what is around the next corner up there.”  Am I ever glad I followed!  We turned such a simple corner to gasp in delight at a beautiful, monumental waterfall.  Not a trickle, not a pour, but ever so beautifully dancing down the side of a extremely tall cliff.

I learned something beyond enjoying the journey from the tourist advice.  I learned that sometimes life’s disappointments only lead to more beautiful moments.

I also learned a better appreciation for the journey.  Heck.  Most of our lives are spent on the journey of whatever destination we hope to enter.  Working really hard for years for that precious promotion; pulling all nighters for that final exam; driving thousands of miles to see loved ones; we all do it in one form or another: hope.  Work towards an end.

Living and working in Los Angeles, even in vocational ministry, it is so easy to get caught up in the deadlines and long lines and miss the bottom line.  Success in this life is not about “hitting the mark.”  Just like the journey to Hana is not about Hana.  It is what we do along the way.  It is following our Master as He says, “let’s keep going this way.”  It is the beauty that awaits every time we turn off the checklist and engage in a person’s life.  The projects still need completed, yes, but life is so much more than whether we are in the red or in the black, drive the Pinto or the Benz.

Whenever we get in our cars (whether a Pinto or a Benz), we drive with purpose, since we have a destination.  As believers, we are to operate our bodies, in the same way; with purpose towards our destination.  For we know our hope is secure in Christ.  However, let us be sure that we don’t get so focused on our heavenly destination, that we miss the whole point of the journey, enjoying the beautiful sights, following our Beloved, and inviting others along for the ride of their life.

After all, we don’t want to miss all the beauty that He has designed for us because we are in a rush to get ourselves to the next place, or to own the next thing.  What is an adventurous journey and a stellar waterfall, if others aren’t there to share it with you?

Isn’t life with Jesus so much more than just getting to the destination?


One comment

  1. Love your writing and your heart. My wife and I had the same experience at the seven pools on our honeymoon… we were turned away from the pools because of rain. Unfortunately, we didn’t know about the waterfall. But I wish we had, it sounds pretty amazing! Thanks for taking the time to write and express yourself, and especially your faith.

    Hope our ministry paths cross again sometime with you and Jason! Blessings.

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