The Pastor Next Door

The Journey – The Unseen

What do we do when the goal is unseen?

Photo by Matt Howard on Unsplash

It was Thanksgiving and we were heading to my brother Jay's home outside Baltimore, Maryland. We were excited to spend time with his family and celebrate together. As we drove the weather grew worse and worse.

The snow and sleet were becoming overwhelming. Cars were pulling off and sliding off the road at an alarming rate. My hands gripped the steering wheel tighter than I knew I could. White knuckling was an understatement. I grew more and more tired. Tensions were rising in the car. I knew that Amy wouldn't be comfortable getting behind the wheel and so I drove on.

This journey was not going well.

I desperately wanted to stop and sleep. Amy was desperately trying to find a hotel room.

The “good” hotels were all booked up with other travelers hiding from the storm.

We drove on.

We made it to Jay's house.

Had we known how the journey would have played out, we might not have left. But, the hope of the joy of seeing my brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, and mom was more than enough to keep us going.

We couldn't see, quite literally, our destination, yet there was hope of the joyful reunion that kept us going. The perseverance paid off! The joy was made that much more sweeter after the difficulty of the journey.

“So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18, The Message)”

At the beginning of any journey you can't see the end. You can try to picture it in your mind's eye but you don't see it. You have to start out and just go. You hope that the going will be smooth and easy. You hope that there will not be any bad weather or traffic jams or delayed flights. But, at the end of the day, you just don't know what the journey will be like nor can you see the destination.

Every journey demands faith.

Paul Tillich wrote, “Faith is an act of a finite being who is grasped by, and turned to, the infinite.”

I'm realizing that this is exactly what has been at the center of my journey toward fitness. It is a journey of the finite being grasped by the infinite.

You see, there's no end to the pursuit of fitness. It's an ongoing journey with various stops along the way.

I am struck by something that the Apostle Paul says in that quote from 2 Corinthians, “The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.”

As I consider what is going on in my fitness journey, this really is the heart of the matter. It's not about a particular number on the scale or the size of my waist. No, those things are here today and gone tomorrow. It's truly about the pursuit of fitness. A pursuit of something that will last forever.

Being strong, feeling good, having energy, loving well. These are the things that the journey brings about.

So I journey on.

I am believing by faith that the journey will help me become fully myself.

We can't truly see the end when we begin, but stepping out in faith on the journey opens the door to joy.


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