When I think of enjoying the journey, my thoughts immediately go to the celebration of everyday life. I think of choosing to enjoy each part of the journey – even the nitty-gritty, seemingly uneventful moments that have the potential to be sacred. They do, and I believe this is important. There's a certain steadiness and nearness about God that I only understand in the mundane. To enjoy the journey is to recognize the value and purpose of everyday life. But as I dig a little deeper, I realize there’s something beyond the celebration – there’s the cause for celebration.
And what I’m finding is that it’s linked to this innate, God-given desire in each of us - connection. The reason each day is sacred is because each day has the capacity for connection.
We deeply desire connectedness. I think because it hits at that core, scary question of, “Am I lovable? Am I worthy of being seen and understood and heard? Can I be simultaneously known and loved?”
These questions are fully met in God – it's a resounding yes. But he also gives us the capability to know each other and know him deeper. To me, this journey we’re on is a means for connection. Sometimes, the “going” happens when we go a little deeper with a friend, or when we keep going back to the same place and invest a little more. Sometimes it happens when we go explore, or travel together, or experience God in new ways. It happens when we are a part of each other’s day-to-day, when we see the messy kitchens and the frustrating moments and the deep fears and choose to stay.
This need for connectedness transcends cultures and family-of-origin and denominations. It’s why the journey matters. It’s why choosing to get up in the morning and be faithful in your marriage and committed to your job and invested in a friendship is so important. It’s why seeing and tasting and feeling the vastness of this world is so meaningful – it all gives us a greater knowledge of God and of each other.
To me, enjoying the journey means choosing connection over isolation, vulnerability over hiding, and courage over fear. It means really, deeply, uncomfortably sitting in the mess of people’s lives and being willing to let other people sit in mine. It means choosing to be present, sometimes painfully present, in each other’s hurts and celebrations. It means seeing travel and exploration as a means of connection with the God who deeply, intimately knows me.
I’m tempted to run from it all. Connection takes work and faithfulness and authenticity. But God doesn’t run. He stays, and presses in, and continually models the truest form of intimacy. And so I’m reminded, in even the most difficult of days, that this journey is most fulfilling when I choose connection.