“Are we there yet?” is probably the most common question parents will hear when traveling long distances with their children. The young travelers realize they are in transit mode while confined to the space that the vehicle permits, and naturally become antsy towards reaching the end of their journey. Interestingly enough, this uncomfortable feeling seems to exist all the way into adulthood during a transitional period of life. We don’t like the in between stages. We want to get to where we want to go, when we want to get there. And when it doesn’t happen soon enough, anxiety creeps in and causes us to doubt that we will ever reach our desired destination. May I remind you though, that no matter how long it takes to reach it, your destination isn’t going anywhere? You may encounter a detour or end up taking some scenic routes, but X still marks the spot on the map! So instead of lingering on the discomfort of the transition period, try to embrace the journey set before you. Here are four ways to help you do so:
1. Stay in preparation mode. God uses transition periods to prepare and test us before bringing us into our promised land. The Israelites remained in the wilderness for forty years because of attitudes and practices that they wouldn’t get rid of. God wanted them to change their thinking, change how they did things, and change their hearts so that they would have the faith and fortitude required to possess "the land filled with milk and honey (Exodus 3:17)." Every minute given towards doubtful and/or anxious thoughts could be spent on preparing for what God has for you. Use your time wisely.
2. Expect detours and delays. When you’re heading towards where God wants you to go, the enemy will often bring resistance. Like getting a flat tire on the highway, he’ll try to slow you down or discourage you from staying on course. Take the story of Job, for instance. When the enemy saw the blameless life that Job was committed to, he did everything in his power to make him turn away from God and God’s promises. He caused loss, disease, and pain to enter his life, yet Job never lost his sense of direction. Although he didn’t understand why these things were happening to him, Job never lost his faith. He knew God would somehow come through and he eventually received not only complete restoration, but also a double portion of God’s blessings (Job 42:10). He entered into his promised land.
3. Stop looking at the clock. God’s timetable is nothing like ours. He set eternity into motion along with everything in it. Furthermore, the bible tells us that a thousand years is like a day to Him (2 Peter 3:8). In a world that runs on deadlines, schedules, and appointments, this can be a difficult concept for us to grasp. But it’s absolutely imperative that we understand this about Him. He has already ordained your days and is never late (Psalm 139:16; Ecclesiastes 3:1). He is an “on time” God!
4. Celebrate the milestones. When traveling long distances, it often helps to take a few breaks. Getting out of the car, stretching your legs, and maybe stopping for snacks and drinks, can all help make the drive more doable. It gives travelers something to look forward to, including an increased sense of closeness to their destination. It would be helpful to apply this same principle to transition periods in your life. Even before you arrive at the end of your journey, make sure to celebrate the milestones along the way. It will clear your mind and allow you to refocus on where you’re going.
As long as you’re following God’s directions, He will get you where you need to go. He has good plans for your life so learn to embrace the journey. And if you get off course, let him steer you back on track as soon as possible. Why? Because your destination awaits!