Reflecting on our current series, the Journey, I have had time to think about the Journey I am currently on in my life. My wife Missy and I have started a new adventure of building a new home. This process started last September as we decided to buy a lot, and we just finished up our last design studio appointment last Friday. Talk about a Journey! There are all kinds of things involved in building a house. Paint color, brick type, brick color, counter tops, cabinets, hardware, faucets, flooring, etc, etc, etc. It’s easy to get overwhelmed! You find yourself watching every HGTV show, paying special attention to every house in every neighborhood, wanting to add this, wanting to add that, and before you know it you aren’t even enjoying the journey! You then find yourself constantly comparing what you are doing to everything else around you. The phrase “keeping up with the Jones” comes to mind. You don’t even mean to do it, you just get lost in the shuffle and excitement of it all!
I was in the shower last week, listening to praise and worship music, doing my best thinking and praying as I got ready for my day! Sorry for the visual! What can I say, Missy is a lucky lady! Anyways, during this time, God reminded me to be content. We have been in our current house for over 8 years and there have been a few different times that we thought seriously about moving, buying a new house, or building something. Each time we just prayed that we had peace and wisdom, and that it would be in God’s timing. Every other time, it turned out that it wasn’t our time. This time, literally was God’s timing! Our house sold in 7 days, found the exact apartment we wanted (that was not available a few weeks earlier) and found a builder that was willing to work with us and fit our needs and budget. During all of the time I spent thinking about getting the house completed, I started a list of things we wanted for the new house. Started making a budget for these things, new furniture, décor, etc. I was getting ahead of myself. Then, as I said earlier, I was reminded to be content with what I have. I needed to slow down, and enjoy each step of the journey! Take a look at what Paul says in Philippians.
Philippians 4:11-13 (NLT)
“Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to be content with whatever I have. I know how to live on almost nothing, or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength.”
We need to be content in every area of our life. My good friend William Bell, who designs and builds houses for a living, told me last week, “enjoy the building process”. He tells all of his clients this. Isn’t this true for our lives? We need to enjoy the building process that God is working on the inside of each of us. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit, don’t get caught up in comparison to others, and be the light we are supposed to be each and every day. Comparison will steal your joy! You will find yourself on Facebook and Instagram wondering why he or she is getting to go on another vacation, or has a new car, or is building a new house; whatever it is, it literally steals and kills your joy! That is what the enemy does, steals, kills, and destroys. We tend to focus on a few small imperfections or hardships, but instead let’s be thankful for what we have. I start each day literally thanking God for everything I can think of. And this list is long! Let us make the choice to find joy and be content with what we have.
Enjoy the journey you are on. Take a look at these scriptures.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”
I had a teacher in High School who’s motto was, “The Joy of Life is in the Journey.” This is so true! We are meant to enjoy the journey we are on. Will there be struggles? Absolutely! But we know that no weapon formed against us will prosper according to scripture. So do not let weapons of discontentment, jealousy, and comparison steal our Joy along the Journey of life. Let’s choose to be a living testimony of God’s goodness and be a blessing to those around us!
Mark has been a member of Word of Life for several years. He currently leads our men's ministry Band of Brothers.