Joy in the Journey
I write this as I am sitting in Wellington Airport awaiting a flight to Kenya where I am attending an International Salvation Army conference. I have always loved travelling—well, that’s not completely true, what I love is exploring new destinations and catching up with cherished friends and family! Yet I don’t enjoy the travel aspect—getting to the destination.
A few days before travelling, I start to wonder if I have everything I need for the trip. Have I booked the correct flights on the right dates? Have all the arrangements for the family and work been put in place? Then on the day of travel I worry about whether I’ve forgotten to pack something, or will I accidentally take something with me that I’m not supposed to? (This probably hasn’t been helped by watching several episodes of Border Security.) Have I left enough time to get to the airport? I check my bag regularly to ensure that I have my passport and that it is still valid.
You may or may not resonate with any of this, but perhaps there are other aspects of your life where you feel worried or anxious. The fact is, there are a lot of changes happening in our world now: in New Zealand we have just had an election; The Salvation Army internationally has a new General; and here in our territory we are reimagining how we deliver mission and the structures to best suit our front-line corps and centres. Change can be tough, even when we know and like the destination.
It almost feels a little trite to say this, but when I find that I am worried and when I am uncertain about what the next step in my journey is going to be, I go back to some foundational verses in my life, like Proverbs 3:5-6, and Deuteronomy 31:6: ‘Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.’
Whatever your current experience, may you learn to trust in the Lord with all your heart and may there be joy in the journey—not just the destination.
Lt-Colonel Liz Gainsford
Territorial Secretary for Spiritual Life Development