Thoughts on Traveling vs. Arriving

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Out at sea, waiting for someone to say there’s land ahead.

Stuck on a turbulent flight, praying for the moment when we reach clear air, or better yet, a runway.

Traveling on a winding road that I think is getting me somewhere, but I’m not quite sure.

These are the analogies I would use to describe what this season of life has been like. It’s been a lovely adventure, but a chaotic one. Yesterday marked my first full week in Waco since May.

The dust is starting to settle from the summer, and I’m finding a resting point in the journey, but I’m learning that that’s just what it is — a resting point in a journey.

I’m learning that stability is more often a goal than a reality, and that maybe movement is better than a stand still, because then at least you know you’re headed somewhere.

I’m learning that perhaps life is more about traveling and less about arriving.

I’ve always loved traveling — experiencing new places and people and possibilities. Maybe that’s because my parents are adventurers, and we were always looking to what was next because my Dad loves a challenge, so he rarely said no to a new opportunity. And the older I get, the more I realize that I’m wired just like him.

But sometimes I get a little adventured out. Sometimes I need a pit stop to refuel and rest (as does everyone), and last week, I thought I was getting that.

I was supposed to have three days off from nannying, so I woke up on Wednesday ready to spend some extra long time with God, run some long-overdue errands, clean up my house, and have Thursday and Friday just to spend time writing and catching up with friends.

Then I got a message saying one of the boys had gotten sick and had to stay back from visiting grandparents with the other two. I was now needed to keep said sick boy, for the next two and a half days.

I cried.

Then I went to get laundry out of the dryer, and my sweet “let me lift some of your burdens and do the laundry for you” husband had put my favorite white shirt in with five pairs of blue jeans. Needless to say my shirt was no longer white. 

I cried again. (It’s ok babe, I really do forgive you)

My pit stop had quickly turned into a “run on fumes and hope you make it to the next gas station” sort of situation.

I finally pulled myself together, prayed, and moved forward with my day. Because when we abide in Jesus, He is in this place, which makes His response, “I have graced you to travel road you’re on.”

I don’t honestly know where this road is going. I have lofty dreams of where I’d like for it to take me, and I keep moving forward every day hoping I’m getting closer to there, but I have a feeling there will be a lot of unexpected pit-stops (or lack thereof).

And this is the nature of traveling. Flights get delayed, cancelled and rerouted. Roads get closed and detoured. It rarely stops us from getting where we’re trying to go, though. It just changes the journey a little bit.

So I feel like my job is just to stay the course. If that means taking care of a sick kid, great. It’s no less valuable than winning a Pulitzer or writing a best seller, because his mom has entrusted me with her three most valuable possessions, and that is a road I am privileged to be traveling in this season. 

Do I hope this road is also leading me in the direction of my wildest dreams coming true? Absolutely. Am I doing everything I can to set myself up for success in that way? Of course. Do I know it will all turn out the way I want it to?

I guess not.

But I know God has it all mapped out. I know He goes before me. I know He has my best in mind. I know I wouldn’t rather travel with anyone else but Him.

So this is my resolve and encouragement on this mundane Monday: I’m not waiting for the arrival with bitterness or frustration in my heart. I’m submitting to the journey and enjoying all of it, because God has graced me to travel this road that I’m on. Like a boss.

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