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Joy in the Journey

When I was a sophomore in high school, I was 6’3” and about 230

pounds. I wanted to play basketball in a youth league, so I decided to lose weight. In about 2 months, I dropped 50’ by eating salad, running two miles a day, and playing sports. I actually maintained that weight for more than 6 years through college. Later in life, I would drop 50-60 on two other occasions, but normally, over a 2-3 month period.

It goes fast when you starve!

Problem is, as you get older, it's comes back fast too! Many overweight people understand this. When you drop weight quickly, you're more likely to put it back on even more quickly. There are many physiological and psychological reasons for this, but the evidence is clear. It's often easy go and easy come again. It's usually better to lose it gradually through life changes that take time to learn and make habitual. Most doctors and health gurus agree on this.

But the principle of time and valuing the journey applies to many aspects of life, not just weight loss. Fast money tends to disappear rapidly (just look at most lottery winners), relationships that move too quickly often deteriorate rapidly, and don't even get me started on fast food--ugh!

I shared with some folks recently regarding God's view of our search for ministry, calling, or life purpose. Often, we want Him to suddenly and definitively show-up in a Moses-like-burning bush and shout commands to us regarding our purpose. Truth is, God enjoys the journey of discovery and knows that if He rushes it, we'll likely not value it and thus won't receive the maximum benefit/blessing He intends.

It's like Christmas morning for parents. The best part of Christmas morning isn't AFTER the kids have opened the presents. No! That usually means hours of agony as we struggle through reading instructions in Swahili to complete the "some assembly required." Yuck!

No, the fun part is that anticipation on the kids faces, the wild attempts to unwrap and open the packages, and then the extreme joy when they get their first glimpse of what's inside. Sometimes, the little munchkins will crawl up in your lap and sweetly ask for help to untie a ribbon or rip apart a stubborn cardboard box. So awesome!

But if WE see that the discovery process of our gifts to our Children is the best part--why is it hard to believe that the same is true for God our Father? He loves the prayer and devotional time we'll spend with Him as we seek clarity in our lives. Furthermore, He knows that if we have to work and wait on Him for discovery, we're more likely to value, remember, and fulfill the calling He gives. The LAST thing he wants is "easy come--then easy go!"

So seek God's call on your life. Search for your gifts, abilities, etc. and how they fit in ministry and vocation. Still, enjoy the journey, not just the outcome. Seek God and draw close to him through this. He loves you--and the time you'll spend together opening His gifts.

To that end,

Pastor Joel

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