are we there yet?

By now most of you know that my family and I recently all piled into the minivan and made the multi-day drive across the country to start the new adventure of serving as the Lead Pastor at North Metro Church in the northern suburbs of Atlanta. That’s not to say that the drive itself wasn’t a bit of an adventure. And thanks to my good friend Aaron McRae my kids actually thought that the more they said, “are we there yet,” the faster we would arrive at our new home in Atlanta!

My kids aren’t the first people on the planet to be so enamored with the destination that they lose sight of the journey. I bet Moses heard this phrase more than a few times from the nation of Israel, Noah probably heard it from his kids, Abraham heard it from Isaac, and so on, and so on. The reality is that if you and I are not careful we run the risk of becoming so fixated on the destination and where we are going that it becomes almost impossible for us to enjoy the journey along the way. This is especially true if you are the kind of person who has a fairly clear picture in your mind of a desired future and where you believe you are supposed to be, or where you are supposed to be leading a group of people to.

So how do you know if you’re so addicted to the idea of the destination that you’re in danger of missing the journey? If you can identify with the items from the list below you may need to come up for air and do some self evaluation, or better yet, hit your knees and do some confession.

#1 The people in your life are viewed as projects or commodities to accomplish your goals

#2 You are more interested in results than methods

#3 God becomes someone to get something from instead of give something to

#4 Serving becomes a waste of time

#5 Interruptions become viewed as irritants as opposed to opportunities

#6 Moments of laughter are few and far between

#7 Winning becomes an obsession

Posted in Leadership

3 Responses to “are we there yet?”

  1. tymm July 8, 2010 at 10:18 am #

    Great post. That checklist describes so many people I know. So many self-described “leaders” lose sight so fast of the journey – the people along the journey – their own family – their kids – their own life…

    It’s sad.

    I’m a runner. It’s what I do for fun, for relaxation, for stress relief, for exercise…

    In high school I was a sprinter. It was all about the finish. There was absolutely no time during the race to take note of anything – it was a solid focus on the finish. An all out rush to get there.

    But as I have gotten older I have been working on transitioning to a distance runner. It’s been an interesting move and challenging at times – but one thing I have noticed is that not only do I have time to take in the journey between start and finish – that journey has become an integral part of my run – often times defining the run for the day.

    I see deer at mile 3. I had to hop a snake at mile 7. The roots on the hill at mile 4 require a lot of attention but the view of the woods is incredible. Though I have had some memorable finishes – its these moments along the journey that stay with me the longest.

    Life is the same. My wife is in Africa right now and we’ve been really focused on the journey. Small things. Small laughter. Small impact. All things you would miss if all you saw was the finish line.

    Yep. Great post. It isn’t always all about the destination.

  2. Erin July 11, 2010 at 12:26 pm #

    I enjoyed your “interview” today during the first service. I laughed today when you mentioned the struggle between knowing if it was “tacos or the Holy Spirit.” I often joke and say, “I know the Lord is calling me to do this, but then again, it could be gas.” I’m struggling with that now, and yet again, your blog post makes me all the more aware of how I’m living for God.
    I will be serving at a teenaged girls’ retreat next weekend, but my husband is very excited about your message. I’ll just have to listen to it online. We love you so much and are so glad you’re here! Have a great week!

  3. paul alexander July 11, 2010 at 10:49 am #

    Today was a great start to what I anticipate to be an incredible journey. Excited about the richness of the highs and lows and simple life that we’re going to do together in submission to the Spirit! Excited to be a part of this community of people called North Metro!

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