We walked 256 km in ten days! One of the hardest things I have ever done. Along with two friends and my husband we walked the Tankwa Camino, a gravel road between Calvinia and Ceres. It was an opportunity for silence, time to think, reflect and enjoy the vistas of the Karoo. The Tankwa Karoo National Park is sadly one of our lesser known parks and one of the most beautiful.
I reflected on the journey of my life thus far. Many hours were spent walking and I was aware of watching my feet tread the path, as I walked five kilometers at a time.
At one stage I looked up to look at the scenery, huge vistas of openness stretched before me. I marveled at the distance I was able to see and speculated at how far the mountains in the distance were from me. Then I put my head down and walked again. Much later, and I mean much later, I lifted my head again to realise with shock that the scenery had hardly changed, it was the same vista from a slightly different angle.
It struck me, that my life feels like that sometimes. I have to live in a certain environment and at times that environment is not to my liking. Then I pray, put down my head and walk out the life. Fully expecting God to change the scenery of my life. Only to discover a few months later, that my environment has not changed much, we are just further down the path of life.
This makes me wonder at prayer, does it work? Has God heard me? I have been waiting for the circumstances to change, but I seem to be stuck in the same place and God seems to be taking forever.
But what I realized is that life is really about the journey, not the destination. We are often so focused on reaching heaven, that we see no earthly value to our days here on earth. The truth is, I am going to reach my destination eventually, anyway. Our destination is sure, given to us in a promise of eternal life.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16
Therefore, it is in our day-to-day lives, where the proverbial rubber is hitting the road, that is actually important.
God holds our destination in trust for us, we will all receive eternal life. What is really important is how we walk this daily life and how we approach it. It is more about the journey than the destination. This journey is where we receive eternity and receive our inheritance.
What also struck me is that God knows our journey. He knows his plans for us, he has purpose for our lives. He is in control of the journey as it all fits into his will and plan for our lives. (Jer 29:11)
Ultimately, He controls the scenery on our journey, the environment we are currently living in. He works all things for our good. In His will and divine timetable, our environments will change at His appointed time. While they serve His purpose and will, the environment will not change. When the cease to serve His purpose and will,
the environment will change.
The real question is, how are we going to walk this journey while we are on this part of our journey.
“And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Rom 8:28)
Are we going to question His goodness, when every time we look up things are still the same? Are we going to doubt the power of prayer in enabling us to complete the journey? Are we going to submit to what He is doing in our lives, as He may test us; discipline us; train us and equip us for the journey that is still ahead; trusting that He knows exactly the path that we are still to walk; believing in faith that He holds us firmly in His right hand as we go (Psalm 139:10). Are we going to be obedient, keep running the race He has set before us, keeping our eyes focused on Him as the author and perfect or of our faith?
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” (Heb 12:1b-2)
Can we trust in faith, which means we cannot see it, that He has provided everything we need on the path that we have not walked yet? Choosing to be obedient and keep walking, maintaining our momentum as we continue growing as believers: learning, praying, believing worshipping, to hear his voice at the end say: “Well done my good and faithful servant.”
I think it is dangerous in life, to become so focused on our environment changing, that we don’t focus on how we are walking day-to-day, week-to-week. We spend so much time fighting with God to change our environment, instead of resting in His goodness and watching for His provision and love for us on our journey.
And even when the conditions on the road get worse: the weather changes; the road surface gets harder with sharp stones; the walking gets harder as we tire, all in the same environment; do we still rage at God about our comfort? Do we focus on the conditions of our journey, worry about how we are going to survive, develop anxiety about what tomorrow holds and fail to see that God wants us to seek Him first:
“So do not worry, saying, “What shall we eat?” or “What shall we drink?” or “What shall we wear?” 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt 6:31-34)
Father, I know that I am doing life one day at a time, but help me to trust You one day at a time. Help me to remember that where I am now on the journey of life, is not my final destination and that I will reach my destination over time. But while I am here now, help me to seek You first each day and make the choice to walk in such a way that Your name will be glorified in all I do and say.