We’ve all heard the cliché “Life is about the journey, not the destination.” Love it? Hate it? Sappy? Right on? I’m partial on the latter. Like many experiences in life, it is about just that – experiencing that time and learning from it. “Risking it” is definitely a journey, not a destination.
Type A people like myself tend to think “big picture.” We become very focused on goals, achievement, moving from point A to B, and having an end game in mind. This type of thinking can help us achieve what we set out to do, but it can also trap us. We start looking more like a human doing than a human being, and in my opinion, that’s not the best thing. We become so focused on looking forward to things that we miss the opportunity to enjoy the time we are in right now.
Life is intended to be a journey – indeed, an enjoyable journey – not a singular destination or series of destinations strung together in succession to one another. Life isn’t just about accomplishing X, then moving on to accomplish Y, while anticipating the attainment of Z. Easier said than done right? Many of us unthinkingly string our lives together event to event and accomplishment to accomplishment, perhaps helping us make some sense of it all. It is often difficult to break out of this type of thinking.
But life usually ends up being non-linear – through challenges that we didn’t anticipate, circumstances that are beyond our control, relationships that go in a different directions, or plans that simply just don’t pan out. And I’m learning that’s just fine, actually.
We should each open our minds and hearts to being less focused on destinations and more embracing of life’s transitions between waypoints. It is important to have goals and ambitions. It is important to make plans for the future to ensure the well being of yourself and your family. But by keeping your energy so focused on the future, you may well be missing out on the richness of the here and now.
The act of taking risks can be an important component of enriching our life journeys, enjoying the process of traveling toward the waypoint to which the risk leads us, which might be different than the specific destination that we originally had in mind.
Proverbs 16:9 provides further insight into how we can lean into God, living more in the moment and for God’s purposes, not just our own:
9 We plan the way we want to live,
but only God makes us able to live it. (The Message)
Another version of this scripture states that we might make our own plans, but God directs our steps. We might have an agenda or plan in mind, perhaps a perfect timeline with an end game that we hope to achieve. But God will likely have a different path for us, and we can be better adaptable to his ultimate plan for our lives by embracing the journey, letting him take care of the destination.