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Joy in the Advent Journey

This morning as I was considering my “to do list” for this short, yet busy week, I sensed that God was telling me to look at things from a different perspective than I was currently. What if rather than treating my needs to prepare for leading our home group, finalizing plans for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service, and preparing the message for this coming Sunday as a result, goal, or destination - what if instead I saw them as a journey, and relished the moments along the way, enjoying the discoveries God would show me in the process?

Too often I confess that I am a spiritual child in the back seat of the car Jesus is driving along life’s road. Too often my mind thinks and my words say, “Are we there yet?” If that were what it was all about, it strikes me that Jesus need not delay. He could immediately make my boat land on the other shore as He did with the disciples in John 6:21. Yet most of the time, Jesus lingered rather than rushed. He even managed to enjoy a nap in a boat in the midst of a storm (Matthew 19). Why then am I so much in a hurry? I confess, there is a certain sense of accomplishment in checking off boxes on the to do list. But where is my box for enjoying the journey, smelling the roses along the way, noticing the things that God notices - His creation, especially those made in His image?

As I pondered, God reminded me of a Christian song that was popular in the early days of my new life in Christ - Michael Card’s “Joy in the Journey”. Here are the lyrics, which I still find quite profound:

There is a joy in the journey

There's a light we can love on the way

There is a wonder and wildness to life

And freedom for those who obey

And all those who seek it shall find it

A pardon for all who believe

Hope for the hopeless and sight for the blind

To all who've been born in the spirit

And who share incarnation with him

Who belong to eternity stranded in time

And weary of struggling with sin

Forget not the hope that's before you

And never stop counting the cost

Remember the hopelessness when you were lost

There is a joy in the journey

There's a light we can love on the way

There is a wonder and wildness to life

And freedom for those who obey

And freedom for those who obey...

Ahhhh. What peace I feel when I read them (even sing them to myself) again. Oh to relish the wonder and wildness of life, remembering the hope that Jesus has given my wandering and sometimes weary soul. For light along the way, and of course, the presence of God in each twist and turn, I need to be far more grateful and content.

As you journey through this advent season and beyond, for however long our earthly journey may last, I pray you might experience the joy and wonder of it all - as we walk with the Lord Jesus in route to our eternal destination.

Merry Christmas, friends. And may God bless you and the journey He has in store for you.

~ Pastor Ben


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