My kids are at that stage where they are starting to be capable of doing things for themselves but don't want to break away from having it done for them. It's a frustrating season that never seems to be made better no matter how many older people tell me to enjoy it because I'll miss it when it's gone. That is something that has never seemed possible! In fact, I often have the feeling, as I'm sure everyone with young children has at some point, that the time "when it's gone" can't come soon enough!
But lately my attitude has been challenged. In the story in Exodus of Israel's departure Moses pleads with Pharaoh to let them go time after time and God hardens Pharaoh's heart. This prolongs the eventual outcome of Israel being freed from slavery and moved closer to possessing the Promised Land. It's baffling that God would go through all the motions with Israel even though he knows the outcome. However, we gain insight behind his methods in Exodus 14:4, "And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them, and I will get glory over Pharaoh and all his host, and the Egyptians shall know that I am the LORD."
When reading this I realized that with God it seems like the journey is as important as the destination. I must admit that this is a very difficult mindset for me to adopt. I have always been so driven and intent on my destinations in life that I struggle to take time and enjoy the journey.
However, I think this is what Solomon was getting at when he wrote in Ecclesiastes 3, "I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God's work from beginning to end."
We don't see all that God is doing. We don't see that our frustrating circumstances are developing our character. We don't see the difficult coworker we have been paired up with is God's way of teaching us compassion and patience. We don't see that caring for a child who is constantly needing something from us is teaching us to stop being so selfish and love others.
While I have goals and destinations for my life, as I'm sure you do, I am learning the meaning of Solomon's teaching that God has made everything beautiful for its own time. Today is a precious gift. It's beautiful. It's part of the journey that God has us on and that journey is just as important as the destination. Let's not be so focused on our destination that we forget to look around at all of the beautiful scenery along the way.
Now if you'll excuse me, my son is finished with his dinner and needs to be wiped up--something he is capable of doing himself.
Nick Higgins is the Student & Music Pastor at Kenai New Life which holds services on Sundays at 10:30 a.m. at 209 Princess Street across the street from the Challenger Center in Kenai.
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