Most people think they know where they are going. Or at least we think we should know where we’re going in life. We may have been taught about goal or intentions, or even strategic planning. It sounds so good and practical, and books are written and released in huge amounts each year to help us get to our individual “destinations.” Knowing where we want to end up sounds essential. As the saying goes, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you may just end up there.” But once we know the place of our life’s destination, in life or love or career, we humans tend to get trapped by desire. All of our focus sometimes ends up being the very blinders that make the continuing road ahead very foggy.
It can severely inhibit our relationship with life itself. I started thinking about this as I was reading some of the literature of the Desert fathers and how they emerged from times of great solitude to gain a new perspective on life. Christian people tend to make Jesus Christ a destination, as if He were an all-inclusive resort in Cancun. We camp at the Jesus-resort and wonder why our lives outside of Sunday are stagnant. We begin to feel schizophrenic in our spirits. When it comes to life in general, we spend so much energy trying to get somewhere that we end up shutting down. Life can make you crispy around the edges as we lose sensitivity to the facts. Plowing ahead without facts in focus will only destroy the good work of the Sprit in us. When we lose our sense of curiosity and sense of experimentation, we end up in failure, regret, and set up a life of legalism. Jesus would always say to His potential disciples, “If you want to walk with me…” This proposes a direction He was moving, and the Church does not teach this truth. Like the old saying, “You don’t take Jesus into the world. You discern where He’s dancing, and join in.”
I propose that we go against the grain.
Instead of looking for a destination, why not search out a direction?
What is offered to us in the here and now is God’s raw resources of providing what will eventually become His will for us. The will of God is not a destination, but a direction that leaves us plenty of play and curiosity to explore the blue sky of His created order instead of the blueprint of “rule-following.” No artist creates a great work with constricting parameters. Every artist hates constriction. I am not suggesting a ton of rule-breaking for the giggles of it or to make a point. There is no joy in challenging something that is set in motion, like gravity. It will always win. But I am suggesting that we might could enjoy life a bit more the day that we take off the blinders of destination. Jesus calls us to walk with Him in a divine direction, not camp at some destination.