I spent nearly a quarter century living with constant angst over trying to arrive at some point in the future and not ever thinking about the journey along the way. It was always about the destination. Always about the goal. Always about the future. (Of course the mortgage metaphor is just to make the point. Even though in my case it was literally true!)
Enjoying the “journey of life” at this time was nothing more than trite, idealistic nonsense to me. What a surprise it was to learn later in my life that it was true!
Living in the future is a dangerous proposition. God wants us to enjoy our life now, not someday down the road. I call it the “I’ll be happy when…” delusion:
- I’ll be happy WHEN we go on vacation.
- I’ll be happy WHEN we get a new house.
- I’ll be happy WHEN we get to retirement.
There are so many more “I’ll be happy’s…” I’ll bet you can think of one that applies to your life.
I was blessed to leave that thinking behind and move forward with a new inspiration that can be summed up in one sentence that God used to completely transform my walk with Christ:
Subordinate your EXPECTATIONS of what you want and, instead, concentrate on being EXPECTANT of what God will do in your life.
I learned to live in the moment and enjoy what God was doing in me and through me now and not waiting for some “nirvana moment” in the future that I had choreographed in my mind. I learned that walking with Jesus is a life-long journey and not a short-term destination. That life is not an endurance run where we get awarded a prize for finishing first. That life is a journey of joy in the here and now. Every minute. Every day. Always.
IN THE NOW
No matter how much stress and uncertainty we have, God wants us to enjoy a more abundant life in the moment…in the now. As my pastor Rick Warren says, “Christians should be the most joyful people on earth.”
He’s right…in the moment. In the now. And this is not a suggestion—it’s a command!
“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” Philippians 4:4
God knows the way forward in our life even though we can’t see it. If we are pre-occupied with some arrival point in the future, we will miss the rainbows, the mountains, and the baby’s smile along the way. Most importantly, we will miss God’s presence and the joy of living peacefully while powered by his incredible rhythms of grace.
If we don’t stop living each day “for the future,” we will never develop a relationship with God that allows us to enjoy life’s quiet joy in each one of our “todays.”
We need to stop focusing on how we think our life should go or should not go. Of course we should “enjoy the journey,” but there’s more to it than that in our life with Christ. Living in the now means focusing on God and getting to know: His PEACE. His CHARACTER. His DIRECTION.