Many years ago I had a mentor that could upset my paradigm with one sentence. One statement she made has stuck with me ever since, and to my chagrin, has proved to be spot on, as my British friends would say. She said that God wasn’t concerned about us getting to where we’re headed, but only about the process that takes place on the way.
You’ve probably heard that thought expressed in some way or other before. And if you’re like me and most other members of the selective hearing group, you probably nodded in agreement and promptly dismissed the unwelcome idea while studiously attempting to avoid the practical reality implied.
I’ve always been motivated by a goal, a destiny to be realized when it was reached. I was convinced that if I was faithful and obedient to God he would insure receipt of the coveted prize. And yes, many of my dreams have come to pass. But they never delivered the lasting satisfaction I was expecting.
As time goes on you begin to realize that the journey is all about leaning on him every moment. You find out that his purpose is to transform you through love as you learn to trust him while wading neck deep through the most trying circumstances. And it becomes apparent that the prize is to know his love and faithfulness in the midst of it all.
In earlier blogs I’ve mentioned my friend who was falsely accused of a crime and has now spent 3 years and five months in jail awaiting trial. He was confident that he was drawing nearer to the fulfillment of his “ministry” dreams before he involuntarily abandoned his business, home and everything else he owned and moved into a jail cell. He is now headed to prison for 8 years. At 62 years of age he has come to understand two realities: 1) The process is ongoing 2) He’s living the goal. He has willingly yielded to God in both areas and is experiencing remarkable peace and a measure of joy. He describes his situation as “bitter-sweet” as he mourns the separation from his family, yet rejoices in the opportunity before him.
Oswald Chambers wrote: ‘We must never put our dreams of success as God’s purpose for us; His purpose may be exactly the opposite. We have an idea that God is leading us to a particular end, a desired goal; He is not. The question of getting to a particular end is mere incident. What we call the process, God calls the end.’
Can you relate? Disagree? Have a story along these lines you want to share? Your comments are always appreciated.