I had the pleasure of taking a weeklong road trip with two of my best friends this past week for Spring Break. We travelled through several cities in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas for lots of hiking. There was one day of our trip that included a lengthy stretch of driving from Nashville, Tennessee, to Hot Springs, Arkansas. Let me start by saying we had a wonderful time hiking through the Ozarks in Arkansas and met beautiful people. However, the vast majority of Arkansas is not exactly a geographically diverse place. Roughly five hours of the drive through the state was flat nothingness. And this flat nothingness wasn’t even green. It was still dead and yellow from winter. I was in the driver’s seat and my friends had both fallen asleep. It was not fun to press through all that dull scenery by myself. I felt like it would never end. I found myself continually checking the estimated time of arrival on the GPS to answer the question, “When will we get there?”
I know for myself, I have spent most of my life trying to attain the feeling of finally arriving. I desire to be in a perfect place, surrounded by all the right people, thriving in a well-paying occupation that I am skilled at, but also enjoy. When I feel like something doesn’t “fit,” I busy myself with working hard to improve constantly in my job, relationships, finances, or whatever other goals I am working towards so that I can free myself of being “stuck” in something that is not exactly what I want. When I throw myself into self-effort, I lose sight of an invaluable truth. Even when we are stuck in a difficult transition and things do not feel like they are moving forward, Christ reckoned us “good enough” when he paid for our sins on the cross thousands of years ago. Thanks to hissacrifice, none of us ever have to race towards the next destination in our lives. We do not have to get that feeling of arriving at our “best” from anyone or anything because it is an impossible pursuit. Instead, we have already been made complete in him. We are free from the anxiety and dissatisfaction that comes with speeding through life, especially the slower, more challenging parts of the journey.
Do not worry whether or not you’re there yet. When we live in the moment with God, He will allow us to see beauty in even the most arduous patches. Instead of looking forwards, look upwards. When we trust in God, we can be positive that we will get to our next destination safely. We just have to let go and allow Him to be the one to tell us whether or not we are there yet.
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. –Philippians 3:13