Monday, December 8, 2014

Arrival: A Starting Point

Chuckle:  A man wrote to the IRS: “I have been unable to sleep knowing that I cheated on my income tax.  I understated my taxable income and have enclosed a check for two hundred dollars.  If I still can’t sleep, I will send the rest.”
 
Today’s Quote:  “The road is always better than the Inn.”  --Cervantes
 
ARRIVAL: A STARTING POINT
 
    “I have fought a good fight, I have finished the race, and I have remained faithful.  And now the prize awaits me--the crown of righteousness that the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me on that great day of his return. And the prize is not just for me but all who eagerly look forward to his glorious return” (2 Timothy 4:7-8 NLT).
 
During my thirty years of military service, I remember thinking,  “If I can just get that promotion, I will be happy; if I can get that great assignment, I will find fulfillment; if I can only reach my retirement date, I will feel as if I have reached my ultimate goal and will be content.”  But I learned that every goal achieved in life is only a starting point for something better, not a final destination.  During my 28 years of ministry, I have come to realize that my greatest joy and satisfaction comes from the daily journey with my Lord.  Each achievement along the way brings a brief moment of satisfaction but, more important, it provides inspiration and motivation to continue the journey. 
 
the apostle Paul could have been satisfied with what he had accomplished at any point along his long missionary journeys while serving his Lord.  But he recognized full well that his happiness and satisfaction would never be fully realized until he completed his journey and was in the presence of his Lord receiving the award that God had in store for him.  He could have been satisfied with his accomplishments in Antioch or Ephesus, or Philippi and could have made either of them his final destination – mission accomplished.  However, his greatest joy was the continuing journey to become more like his Lord Jesus.
 
We can spend our time wishing for a status in life to give us joy and contentment instead of enjoying the present and life’s experiences along the road toward that goal.  Our desire should be to faithfully continue the journey. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 3:14 NIV). 
 
Look back over your life and I’m sure you will see that every goal achieved, or every event experienced along the way, has been instrumental in molding you into the person you are today.  In our quote, Cervantes must have been saying, “As attractive as the inn is for a weary traveler, it is the journey, not the inn, that brings the most satisfaction and happiness.  The inn is only a starting point for the remainder of the exciting journey.”
 
“I have learned to take each inn along the way with the traveler’s stride – not as a stopping point, but as a starting point for some new and better endeavor.” –Maurice Maeterlinck
 

Love, Jerry & Dotse

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