Traveling: Destination Decisions

road-pixabay.com

Our next trip is to Lancaster—plowed fields, horse drawn buggies, and home-cooked meals with far too many carbs and calories. I’ve checked the forecast so I’ll know how to pack, made reservations in our favorite hotel, and purchased tickets for Sight & Sound. I can feel my body relax just thinking about it.

We choose a destination, make travel plans, and sketch out an itinerary. Or, we enroll for the course, apply for the job, make an offer on the house. We choose a church, prepare for a birth, cook for guests. We upsize and downsize, change cars and careers, watch our kids move out and our parents age out. Even when unseen, there’s change on the horizon, welcome and unwelcome, with disappointments and opportunities.

We’re always on a road to somewhere, traveling to a destination or toward a goal. What road are you now on? Is it long or short, bumpy or smooth, city traffic or country lane, toll road or scenic route? Are you happy to travel this road or longing for the trip to end?

It’s to our advantage to remember that life is merely a journey, not our destination. The many mini destinations of life are simply stops along the road to our final, great destiny, where the roads are gold, the water clear as crystal, and the neighborhoods vibrant. There are no detours, potholes, or disappointing accommodations. The food is great and the company even greater. There’s no crowding, no distress, and nothing holding us back.

So, pause in your earthly journey and remember your true destination. It puts life in perspective and makes current frustrations and disappointments tolerable. Psalm 84:5-7 always encourages me (emphases mine).

Blessed are those whose strength is in you,
whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.
As they pass through the Valley of Baka [weeping],
they make it a place of springs;
the autumn rains also cover it with pools.
They go from strength to strength,
till each appears before God in Zion.

My friends, the path we’re now walking is part of a pilgrimage. By faith, let’s turn the places of weeping into life-giving springs and move from strength to strength—soon we’ll reach our ultimate destination and it will be worth the challenges we pass along the way.

Photo compliments of pixaby.com

 

Where IS that Hundred Acre Wood?

Just when I think I’m pretty clever about reading caution signs and carefully walking the path in front of me—Bam! Blindsided. Bewildered. Awake at night. Tears.

After watching Christopher Robin last night, I really want to climb through a hole in a tree trunk and find a 100-acre wood and talk with Pooh. Astutely he warns us, “Always watch where you are going. Otherwise, you may step on a piece of the forest that was left out by mistake.” It’s that piece of life that feels left out by mistake (or should be left out) that throws us.

MapI’m sorry. All this morose Eyeore-like blather comes from focusing on earth—on wishing for an imaginary hole through which to escape and discover a fantasy forest where bears hold your hand, piglets do your worrying, and donkeys mirror your glum attitude. It’s silly and nonsensical until you stop to consider…

Actually, I do have a mysterious path to embark on. It’s not imaginary and it leads to a 100 billion, trillion, quadrillion acre land of peace and joy and beauty. I will enter that path, possibly sooner than I expect, and find wonders beyond what I imagine. The heartache and disappointment I grapple with will pale, replaced by glorious wonder.

Until that day, fellow travelers and Hundred Acre Wood wishers, in Pooh’s words, “Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” If a bear with little brain can say this, how much greater is the bravery, strength, and intelligence available to those of us who walk with the King of Glory, possess His Spirit, and own His promises?

“The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deut. 31:8 NIV)

“No test or temptation that comes your way is beyond the course of what others have had to face. All you need to remember is that God will never let you down; he’ll never let you be pushed past your limit; he’ll always be there to help you come through it.” (1 Cor. 10:13 MSG)

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Isa. 41:10 NIV)