I have to admit. Everyone might be talking about it, writing about it, posting about it, but I’m over it. I know, it’s the first week of the year and to be expected. Everyone’s buzzing about their goals for the new year and I don’t have any. I really don’t, nothing specific anyway and truthfully, while it freaks everyone else out, I am pretty ok with that. Yes, I did read the statistics, and yes I do know how hard it is to shoot an arrow without a target. I really don’t have any new thing to accomplish this year that wasn’t there last year, instead I’m going to breathe in this in-between.
What if my goal is not a destination or achievement, what if my goal is the process?
As I’ve pondered this boycott of traditional goals, I’ve been drawn to the story about a group of people who wandered about in the in-between for 40 long years. The Israelites had a dream, a goal, for a home all their own; a place of peace, abundance, and provision. This promise, birthed in the hearts of their ancestors, had festered in their lives for more years than anyone could count. And to make matters worse, they’d been enslaved building someone else’s dreams now for 430 years. Which makes Moses entry onto the scene a pretty big deal. He came in with not only a vision and a goal but actually provided the first step towards their promise.
Pause right there.
That moment, that go-free moment with Moses, is like a January 1st kind of day. Think about it: In that moment all of those dreams are tangible, palpable, right before their eyes. Can you imagine? They step across the boundary of enslavement out into the free air towards their dream land, their promise—hearts on fire, gaze steadfast and a song on their lips. Something that had only been imagined was now happening, in their lifetime! You can almost taste the hope, the possibility just over the horizon.
But, it wasn’t that easy.
There was an entire middle to this journey. And the more I read about them and their wanderings, the more I wonder if the middle was the point of it all.
It was in the middle where the pillar of smoke and fire guided them from place to place. There they found His voice, solidifying connection.
It was in the middle where they saw faithfulness flow out of a rock and glide in on the dew every morning. There they gained confidence, silencing doubt.
It was in the middle where they learned about who they were and whose they were.
Sure, the directive was to get from one point to the other, from Egypt to the Land flowing with Milk and Honey. But as they went camp site to campsite, year after year, it wasn’t the promised land they gained in the end. It was understanding their place with the Promise Giver.
And that’s what I want at the end of 2018. I want deeper roots of faith and stronger confidence in who I am as a daughter of the King. My goal isn’t a destination, but the process. Fellow sojourner, I will walk beside you; our only plan is to follow the Pillar of Smoke by day and the Pillar of Fire by night.
This story about the Israelites holds a lot of nuggets for those of us on a journey and I’d like to talk more about it. Join me THIS FRIDAY on my Facebook Page for Friday Friends where we’ll talk about the Rhythms of the Middle. I’m no expert, but I have done my fair share of wanderings. And next week keep an eye out for a blog about the moment where Israel looked her promise in the eye and then turned away.