This week, my best friend and I got tattoos! I know, right, a minister got a tattoo. Satan must be making my bed right now (just kidding – even though I know we shouldn’t kid about hell).
But we really did – we got tattoos. My tat is on my foot and is the Chinese symbol for holiness (an important sidenote is that my wife has a tattoo on her foot that is the Chinese symbol for heaven – I’ve been thinking about getting a matching one for some time now), and Josh’s tat is the chinese phrase “The Journey is the Destination”.
I think Josh is really going to be happy with what he chose, because there is an eternal truth to the phrase he picked out. The journey really is the destination.
I read this from one of Henri Nouwen’s books this morning in my devotional time:
“The first task of seeking guidance then is to touch your own struggles, doubts, and insecurities – in short, to affirm your life as a quest. Your life, my life, is given graciously by God. Our lives are not problems to be solved but journeys to be taken with Jesus as our friend and finest guide.”
It is so important for us to remember this as truth. We get so caught up in right answers that we forget that God is equally as concerned with how we arive at those answers. If you have to hurt people to arrive at a truth faster, then is it really the truth? If you have to forsake yourself and your walk with God to come up with a theology of providence, then wouldn’t you be forsaking God’s providential guidance?
Yes, the journey is the destination – for God is our destination and He is with us every step of the journey! To look past the journey is to miss God along the Way. And to miss God along the Way is to miss the destination.
I want to conclude this thought by encouraging you to look at Luke chapter 10:25-37.
In this short story a man is concerned solely with the destination. But Jesus keeps trying to nudge him to live in the here and now, and to not miss what Dallas Willard calls “The Eternal Kind of Life Now!”.
The “expert in the law” asks a burning question that is in the heart of every one of us. “What must I do to inherit eternal life?”
Jesus replies by telling him to obey the law. You know, love God… now. Love your neighbor…. now. But this isn’t enough for the expert. He needs more assurance. So Jesus tells him a story. A story about a hurting man and his Samaritan neighbor who helped him in his dark hour of need. What is so compelling to me about this story, is the fact that Jesus doesn’t end it with a focus on eternal life – I mean that He doesn’t say to the guy, “Do likewise and you will recieve eternal life!” He simply says, “Go and do likewise.”
His message was always an eternal message, but for Jesus eternity had broken into the here and now. Eternity was in the hearts of men and women. Eternity was now. The Journey is the Destination.
“I tell you, do not worry about your life… Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble on it’s own.”
– Jesus Christ – Mt. 6