I have destination disease. This is a self diagnosed condition. What it means is that I often spend so much time thinking about the destination that I miss the journey.
I am part of a very courageous church. We have a courageous senior leader who dared to ask if pursuing our vision meant that we would need to move from the location the church has called home for over 70 years. A courageous congregation responded that they were prepared to let go of the familiar and the safe and step into the unknown for the sake of pursuing greater Kingdom impact. I am proud of my church.
So, my church has sold its building and we don’t know exactly where we are going just yet. Since we decided to move I have thought and said that I can’t wait until we are in our new building. It is great to be excited but the ‘I can’t wait’ part. Is that a good thing?
I remember watching an Adam Sandler movie called ‘Click’. It was about a guy who had a remote control that allowed him to fast forward through the parts of his life that he found boring or uncomfortable. If I had that remote control I think I would fast forward through the journey and process parts of life. Adam Sandler’s character found out that by fast forwarding through the parts of his life that he didn’t like he threw away all the valuable things in life.
God has been teaching me that he is not just the God of the destination but also the God of the journey and the process. God delivered Israel from Egypt so that they could live in the Promised Land, but he didn’t lead them straight there. God could have teleported Israel to the Promised Land, he did it for Phillip in Acts. Instead, even before Israel failed to trust God and enter the Promised Land he lead them on a journey through the wilderness.
Israel had a powerful encounter with God at Sinai on the way to the Promised Land, not just after they arrived. Israel’s journey was about learning to trust God, encountering him, establishing worship at the heart of the nation and learning to live as his people.
I am convinced that our church’s decision to move isn’t just about moving to a better building. It’s about God leading us on an amazing and beautiful journey. I am convinced that it is an opportunity to learn to trust in him for something big and to establish trust in God deep within the heart of our church. The value of that will far surpass and outlast any building.
I often tell myself, and sometimes other people, that I dream of writing a book. But I have been lying. I don’t dream of writing a book. I dream of being someone who has written a book. It isn’t the process of writing a book that I think about, it is the end point. It is obvious that I will never reach the end point unless I embrace the process of writing. I think that God has planted the dream of writing a book in my heart not only for the end but for the process. Maybe God has some amazing and beautiful things to teach me through the process of writing. Maybe God knows that as I lean into the process we will share some beautiful life changing moments together.
The irony of destination disease is that it often prevents you from arriving at all. Sometimes the process is ignored or the journey isn’t even started. There are destinations that I care deeply about reaching. So, I choose to wait with anticipation, to embrace the journey and lean into the process. God is with me on the way, not just waiting for me to arrive.
What are you waiting for?