“We tend to view the goal as the goal, but in God’s economy, the process is the goal. It’s not about what we’re doing at all; it’s about who we’re becoming in the process.
It’s not about doing great things for God; it’s about God doing great things in us.”
Mark Batterson, Draw the Circle.
I admit it. I’m a results-oriented person. I like well-defined objectives and finished projects; so much so that I can stall out in the middle of a project if I’m not making the progress I want or if others start “slowing down” the process.
If I understand (or think I undertand) where I’m headed, my nature is to set my feet in that direction and move as quickly as I can toward that goal.
Can you relate? Many leaders (these lovable D personalities!) make great leaders because of their bulldog-like tenacity that keeps them focused on the results they or their organization desire. In fact, when I describe it like that it sounds so noble and inspiring.
Except when we lose sight of the bigger picture, God’s bigger goal: our own spiritual maturity.
And things like how we treat others, how we prioritize our relationship with Jesus. Our attitude. Our ability to be patient.
For me, it is all I can do to not board the next train to my destination. I don’t want to stop and pack, or chat with friends, or offer kindness to someone else along the way. All I want is to get where I’m going, patience be damned.
And then, God delays the train. Or closes a door. And I’m left standing on the platform wondering what just happened.
What happened is: God is in control. And far more important to Him is my spiritual awareness. He wants me to grow through the process. His goal for me is not getting to my destination as quickly as possible; far from it. His goal is for me to be “…perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing” (Js. 1:4).
While it seems nearly impossible to my flesh, God wants me to learn to enjoy the process. But perhaps it’s the process that scares me. Submitting to a process taunts my brain that I may never get where I’m going or that there is a real chance of failure. And if I let up, slow down, smell the roses, I risk never making it to my destination.
It really is a trust issue, a faith issue! Can I trust God even when my progress seems slow, or even worse, that I may never reach my intended destination? Will I be content (ie patient) during the process and keep looking to Him to direct my steps even when they seem to be headed in the wrong direction?
Lord, help us to answer Yes to both! Help us want your good and perfect will for us above any other goal, destination, or dream. Help us run with endurance the race You have called us to run. Amen.