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The Christian Palette, Issue #005 -- The Destination or the Journey?
June 19, 2015
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The Destination or the Journey?
“Is there a million dollar view up there?” asked a hiker, panting audibly while trudging up the steep path going the other way. Worried that rain might ruin their chances of taking photographs from the top, hikers hurried on, heads bent and breathing hard. On the opposite side of the narrow trail, heading down the mountain, I smiled and assured him that it was. It was beautiful everywhere! The slope was naturally easier to manage going down rather than up the Cascade Mountain.
Earlier, I too had thought that my heart would explode as I made my way to the lookout point just over Multnomah Falls. Volcanoes, glaciers and floods had formed the Columbia Gorge from where these spectacular falls plunged hundreds of feet, soaking awe struck tourists below with its refreshing spray.
But was the view really any more spectacular?Hikers from the bottom of the falls had only one objective - to get to the top.
On my way up, outpaced and winded, I had soon felt no need to keep up with others. There was much to enjoy. A light drizzle earlier in the day made parts of the trail slick. My shoes made a wet sound in the chocolate mud.
Climbing slowly, I marveled at the variety of flora and fauna. Ferns of every conceivable size, shape and shade of green turned their faces to bask in the filtered sunshine. Lime green moss felt wet to my fingertips.
The gap between the others and me widened as I walked on, ever upward, pausing to peer inside the cup of a snowy wildflower, weighed down with rain water.
And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?” Job 26:14
My trek on that trail, although decidedly slower, was infinitely more enjoyable. I saw things that those who rushed had missed. Each pause enriched my experience of the woodland and my awe of the God who created it. When I eventually got to the top it was long after the others.
The lookout point was not the summit. The face of the cliff below was so sheer that it was impossible to see where we had come from, or those we had left behind at the foot of the Falls.
Scale is key to our enjoyment of places this monumental.
A towering mountain is only awe-inspiring against a single silhouetted human being. Without a way to assess scale, the spectacular can seem ordinary - as it was at this point over Multnomah Falls.
Our journey with the Lord is similar, isn't it? There is the temptation to strive for some objective and miss the beauty of the journey.
When we lack some scale to assess our progress we feel dry and dissatisfied. Renewing our minds with His word is how to understand Biblical scale.
What does God consider important? Is the life and calling of one believer important to Him? That would be the Biblical scale against which to measure our journey. The Bible is one continuous account of how much we matter to Him.
Time is another component of Biblical scale to consider; the brevity of our earthly lives scaled against the eternity of our spiritual existence.
All the incredible variety along the journey was created by God to enhance our experience in life and our appreciation of Him.
The God who thought nothing of creating such beauty in these woodlands for those who rushed by, has also created joyful experiences for you in your journey through life.
Don’t be in such a hurry that you miss them!
We will get to the summit eventually, but having enjoyed the journey is every bit as important to Him as making it to the top.
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