Last week I had a luncheon date with a good friend of mine at a local coffee shop. I always look forward to meeting up with her, as she knows just what to say to make me think deeply…and sometimes, differently.
And last week, that is just what I needed.
(It would have been really cool if I had remembered to take a picture of the two of us. I would have inserted it right here. But I didn’t. Next time.)
I met Bonnie about three years ago, when God, in His infinite wisdom, placed her in my classroom as a student teacher. Bonnie was a nontraditional student with a background in HR. We hit it off immediately, and I think it’s fair to say I learned as much from her as she did from me. Our conversations about education and life in general were always thought provoking, and at times, thought altering.
Last week’s conversation was no exception. I was sharing my current life status (which is a bit chaotic…more on that at a later date), anxious to figure out the ‘what comes next’ part of my life.
She listened thoughtfully, sensing my impatience with getting it all figured out, before offering up the following:
The journey will lead you to the answers.
(Or something like that. I knew it was profound the second she said it, but I think I scared her when I yelled, “Yes! That’s it! Say it again!”
She couldn’t remember the exact words, but that had to be pretty close. You’ll just have to trust me on this.)
I get it—guilty as charged.
I am forgetting about the importance of the journey. I am usually in such a rush to reach the destination, I neglect the importance of the process.
This, in turn, reminded me of the words another friend had posted a few weeks prior:
“…thinking about how God opens doors and how sometimes I am so caught up in what door I think He *should* open…” ~SH
And then just yesterday, another friend posted a comment on FB:
“It seems as if there is a plan for us that does not always align with the plans we have for ourselves. We just need to listen.” ~DD
And be patient.
Trust the journey to show me the way.
I don’t think I am the only one who struggles with this.
As a society, we often struggle with taking the time to experience and learn from the journey. We are wired for immediate gratification. We need to get to the next step quickly.
Each day we try to lose weight quickly with unhealthy diets, or acquire instant muscle definition and lose inches lost by freezing fat.
We have fast food because of its convenience. After all, it takes time to cook from scratch, and time is sometimes scarce.
In the professional world we are aware of people labeled as ‘climbers’, as they are always reaching for the next rung on the ladder.
We struggle to go the speed limit as we are in a hurry to get to the next place.
We even have fast fashion: “an approach to the design, creation, and marketing of clothing fashions that emphasizes making fashion trends quickly and cheaply available to consumers.”
And do I even need to mention quick romance? Have you watched “The Bachelor/Bachelorette” (guilty) or “The Proposal? (Not guilty. Give me a little bit of credit.)
What’s the trade off? What are we sacrificing?
It all comes with a cost.
Sometimes it’s financial. Sometimes it’s relationships. Sometimes it’s the welfare of others. Sometimes it’s the environment. Sometimes it’s health.
And sometimes…it’s happiness.
So maybe it’s like running a race.
When I run a race, the race is not where I learn the lessons needed to be successful. It’s in the training. It’s about everything leading up to the race.
I am grateful to have the time to figure out the ‘what comes next’ part of my life.
So as I am about to embark on the next chapter of my life, I will take to heart the messages God has been sending me via the people in my life.
I’m listening, God.
And I trust the journey will lead me to what’s next.
(But in the meantime, if anybody has any great ideas, let me know.)