I always liked to have a project on the go, whether it was a new job, a challenge at work, a house extension to build or just planning a holiday away. I enjoyed the planning, but once I was under way, I was keen to achieve my goal and then move on to something new.
My attitude began to change as God allowed difficult circumstances in my life, that slowed me down. I began to learn first hand that the journey was at least as important as getting there. My legs were stronger then and I took to walking in the hills. I loved conquering the mountain peaks, but also marvelled at the changing scenery of God's creation on the way and took time to reflect during the climb.
One day an acquaintance asked me to join him on one of his regular walks. Although he was older than me, he was fitter and walked at a cracking pace. It was all I could do to keep up with him, as he strode on ahead to take the lead. We stormed past banks of daffodils in full bloom and hardly gave the glistening lake below a second glance. I suggested a break, but within a minute he was off again, without even a glance at the profusion of wild flowers, let alone the opportunity to chat together. It seemed like we had completed the eight-mile trek in no time. He bid me farewell, leaving me breathless. I felt we had missed out on something precious.
I remember an old lady in our village. She always left her visit to the local store until the last minute in the evening. In her headlong rush to get there before closing time, her head was pushed in front of her body. You could say that her head got there before her heart!
We need to be certain of our destiny, but it's the journey that matters. It's the heart-to-heart relationship with Jesus that makes the difference. Sometimes we have to slow down, or be slowed down, in order to move forward.
"It is good to have an end to journey towards; but it is the journey that matters in the end." - Ursula LeGuin
"You're blessed when you stay on course, walking steadily on the road revealed by God." Psalm 119:1 The Message Bible