"For it is God who is producing in you both the desire and the ability to do what pleases Him." ~ Philippians 2:13 (ISV)
Of the three of us, I was usually the first one to whine-out the pressing question: "Are we there yet?"
We were only four hours into our 26-hour road trip to Grandma's house. My sister, my brother, and I were already beginning to feel the burden of our confinement. Each of us had a portion of the back-end of our 1971 Volkswagen Squareback Wagon. We strained by the minute to uphold the boundaries of our valuable real estate partitioned into three parts with the edges of our sleeping bags. Because I was the youngest and the smallest, I had to fight for my space on both sides. I was stuck in the middle, going and coming!
I don't know if it was the model or the condition of our particular car, but, in what my dad called "the hull," where we three were surviving the miles by playing Old Maid and Go Fish!, it seemed consistently filled with fumes of exhaust and burning rubber.
As the cityscapes disappeared, replaced by the hills and cactus of the desert, the question would become increasingly involuntary. Every few torturous miles, "Are we there yet?" was thrown from the back of the bus to the adult navigators at the front with blind hope of some immediate relief.
With good intention, my dad would lead us in song while my mom handed out the bologna and cheese sandwiches on fresh white bread. It would help! What sustained us the most was when mom would remind us to look outside and see things that we hadn't seen before. "Even if you're uncomfortable riding in the car, watch where you're going! There are always interesting things to see."
Our journey is long and spiritual formation can be difficult. As one who is pursuing God and His great plan for your life, I encourage you to enjoy the journey! Even when it's uncomfortable, there is always something that God is doing, changing or imparting. Remember this: spiritual formation is not a destination; it's the right heart posture in the journey. A heart of transformation is:
- Yielded to God in faith and obedience
- Mindful of God's abiding presence and help every mile of the journey
- Gratitude for all that God has already done and for all that He has promised yet to do
- Love and respect for others that you are privileged to serve
- Generous, gracious, kind and joyful
"Spiritual formation is not a destination, it's the right heart posture in the journey."
I've always remembered the words of my dad, in response to my childhood impatience. He would hear me complain, "I wish I were 20 years old!" Or, "I wish that Summer-time was tomorrow!" He encouraged me, "Arthur, don't wish your life away!"
"This is the day that the Lord has made! Rejoice and be glad in it!" (Ps. 118:24) Today, with all of its hours, appointments, responsibilities, and precious people; is a beautiful part of your journey. Enjoy it as you and Jesus make the very most of it!
You have a lot of miles to go, yet. Enjoy every mile of the journey!
Pastor Art's Current Sunday Morning Series:
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