It seems that I have spent my life in a hurry — in our family, we joke that anything worth doing is worth doing fast! Of course, we all know that this statement is patently untrue, but we continue to live in a perpetual rush. You might legitimately ask, “What is the rush? What are you hurrying for?” I would have to say that my goal varies, depending on the project at hand, but I must confess that I am a goal-oriented person. Although I may initially procrastinate, once I have determined to begin, I make a beeline for the goal — whether thoroughly vacuuming the house, cleaning the bathrooms, completing a translation, or preparing a dinner for thirty people.
Lest you think this quality is virtuous, let’s take a look at Psalm 119: 105: “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path.” This verse does NOT say anything about a holy spotlight on the finish line or a clear, up-front illumination of all the hills, valleys, twists, and turns in the road. Not only has God refused to reveal to me the entire blueprint for my life, He hasn’t even given me a complete road map for any of the short-term destinations He has set for me. In fact, I often only sense His nudging me in a particular direction in a sort of incremental way. He may point me down a path, but, as I prepare to buzz down it as fast as possible, He only sheds light on the part of the path that illuminates the next step or two. As I take that next step in obedience, He reveals a little more. He faithfully confirms His Word to my heart and continues to draw me in the direction He has set for me, but I seldom know in detail how I am going to arrive at the destination. Occasionally, I am not even the least bit certain what the destination actually will look like.
It occurred to me recently that this seemingly cryptic plan of step-by-step guidance is extremely ingenious on God’s part. First, it prevents me from making my beeline headlong down the path, only to stumble in the dark. Secondly, it compels me to focus on Jesus rather than the project or goal I assume is my assigned destination. In Hebrews 12:1b-2, Paul exhorts us to “run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith.” The real goal is, after all, JESUS, the author and finisher of our faith — NOT a music ministry or an orphanage or foreign missions, or even a prayer ministry. The goal is to know HIM and His Presence and experience His resurrection power as we run this earthly race (see Philippians 3:10).
Father, deliver me from undue haste and impatient clamor. Help me to be content with the revelation of Your light and Presence along the path. Help me to experience and enjoy Your resurrection power and the wonders of Your Presence with me as I step into the light You shine on my path. Empower me, Lord, to take the next step and savor it! Deliver me, Father, of forgetting that YOU are my prize and my destination.