God's plan so you'll be there for the promised
completion." (HEBREWS 10:36 / THE MESSAGE)
It's really easy for the destination to become more important than the journey.
In The Old Testament a priest named Samuel anointed David to become the next King of Israel – but it took ten years for what God had planned and announced to come to pass. If the destination was all that was important, then those ten years could easily be labeled as "wasted."
But God doesn't waste anything, and so in His economy those ten years were full of redemption, change, transformation and healing – and through them He proved to David, to the nation of Israel, and to you and me that the journey is nearly always more important than the destination.
For even though that decade was no bed of roses for David and his companions, in the end, David became the exact kind of King God wanted and needed for His people – a man described by Samuel in FIRST SAMUEL 13:14 as "a man after God's own heart."
In other words with all of David's ups-and-downs, and with all of David's flagrant sinning and rambunctious holiness, he raised the "with-God" bar for all the kings to follow – so much so in fact, that for the next 400 years every Jewish King was described in his epitaph as either "following after the way of David" or "not following after the way of David."
Or look at another chap from The Old Testament. On the outside, Elisha earned his living as a farmer, but on the inside he was an on-purpose follower of God. So when God needed to let the prophet Elijah retire, He scoped out potential replacements and cast Elisha. And while God's calling came one day while Elisha was out in the field plowing, like the journey David took, it was about ten years before Elisha wrapped up his full-time internship with Elijah and got the complete promotion.
All this to say, that God is looking for people who aren't afraid of the journey – because they know in their hears that it's in the journey where we cultivate patience, discover purpose, and begin to live into commitment.
God wants to shape the character of His Son Jesus Christ into each one of us. But for us to arrive at that destination, we must learn to value the journey.
I don't know what destinations God is preparing for me down the road, but I'm grateful and excited about taking the journey – and along the way discovering the beauty, the power and the perspective that The Old Testament prophet Isaiah described when he said that as we "wait for God, we will gain new strength; mounting up with eagle-like wings, running and not becoming tired, walking and not growing weary." (ISAIAH 40:31). Godspeed.