“You’re too focused on the destination!”

Lakehouse view 2010For some time now, I have begun blocking out a spiritual retreat day in my calendar on a monthly basis.  Yes, I do spend time in scripture and prayer daily, however, there is something special about setting a time aside in my normal work week.  While The Lord normally speaks to me regularly during these times, this month was particularly fruitful.  My journal pages are full and I likely could go on for hours about this experience.  However, today, I simply want to relate one specific circumstance that occurred.

If possible, I normally spend this time somewhere outdoors and near water.  I’ve grown up around water and there is just something special about being around it.  In fact, my summer office is sometimes on our back porch overlooking a small pond which also happens to be where I am writing this post today.  This particular retreat day, I chose to go to a local park which is next to a major reservoir in the area.

So, I arrive early in the morning, grab my gear, and set out to find that “perfect spot” for The Lord and I to spend our day together.  I had a place in mind and set out to walk the path.  As I arrive at “the spot”, I pull out my chair, got everything organized and settled in.  As I settled in, it just didn’t seem like this was the “perfect spot”.  So, I packed everything up and ventured off to my next destination.  As I arrived there, I pull out my chair and began settling in again.  Once again, it just didn’t feel like this was the “perfect spot”.

Packing up again, I started walking and was now nearly 45 minutes into my journey.  Then, He caught my attention.   No, I can’t say that I have ever heard that audible voice of God, however, many of you will likely relate.  God stopped me in my tracks and said, “Chris, you’re too focused on the destination!”  Wow, how does that one show up in my life.  Rather than taking the time to “be still” and rejoice in where God has me presently, I’m always looking for that next step.

As a side, I would relate that for the past few years I have been passionately looking for the specific calling God has on my life.  Like many Christians, once we’ve truly made that commitment to follow Him daily, we tend to spend a lot of time and energy on trying to figure out what God’s will is for our lives.  Thankfully, through study of His Word, prayer, Godly counsel, and experience, I have begun to develop a better understand of what this looks like; however, I still have a lot of opportunity for wisdom, knowledge, and personal growth in this area.

So, going back to that day, I immediately shifted my focus.  I began to quiet my mind and fellowship with our Lord in the present.  As often happens in circumstances similar to this in life, once I quieted my mind and turned my focus upon Him, the “perfect spot” showed up right beside me.

For the next few hours, I simply asked for God to reveal to me what I needed to hear that day.  As you might expect, the message was consistent with what I’d been hearing for some time and he chose to use James 1:2-5 to confirm it that day.

“2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything. 5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.”

So, are you seeking clarity on God’s calling for your life?  Are you focused on the “destination” rather than the “journey”?  If so, I encourage you to reflect upon today’s post and turn your eyes upon Him.  If we can help, please don’t hesitate to comment below.

Have a fantastic day!  Blessings, Chris

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