I’m writing a novel, and I can’t wait until I can hold a first copy of it in my hands, gaze upon the cover, flip through the chapters, smell the aroma of the freshly printed pages, and gaze at it again. There are months of work leading up to that moment, hard work of writing and rewriting.
In the middle of this process, I’m having to remind myself that I also enjoy the creative process of dreaming up a story and making it come to life by putting words into sentences, sentences into paragraphs, and paragraphs into chapters. I need to enjoy writing, not just having written! I need to enjoy the journey of writing.
The same principle holds true for other endeavors, such as gardening. We plant flower seeds and can’t wait until we have flowers that look like the picture on the package. We plant vegetable seeds and impatiently anticipate the time when we can taste the fruit of the planting.
There is, of course, no getting around the putting in of time and the putting forth of effort between the planting of the seed and the enjoyment of the view of the flower blossom or the taste of the vegetable. The plants need weeding, watering, pest control, staking, or whatever. This process is called gardening, and a true gardener enjoys the gardening, not just the rewards from the garden.
The principle of enjoying the journey has countless applications other than writing and gardening. Whenever we envision a goal of what we’d like to see accomplished there’s a process involved in getting there. It might be a goal of acquiring a certain amount of education, landing a better job, getting healthier, finishing a certain home improvement project, overcoming a personal struggle, and we could go on and on with other applications.
God has placed His call upon each of us. Yes, part of that call involves accomplishing what He’s called us to do, but another major part of His calling is how we live during the journey of getting there. Life is much like a long walk; it’s less about reaching a destination and more about enjoying the walk.
What we’re attempting to accomplish is going to involve a significant amount of time and effort. The actual achievement of these goals are momentary experiences spread out over considerable expanses of time. Most of life is lived between the achievement of goals, large gaps of time filled with major significant effort. That’s why we need to enjoy the journey!
“Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, Lord.” Psalm 89:15