Have you ever been faced with a journey – a road that feels exhausting, maybe laborsome – but it only feels this way because you’re so focused on getting to the end goal? Your happy ending?
Rewind to last Saturday … it’s pouring down rain … absolutely nothing to do. Solution? Popped in the chick flick ‘Under The Tuscan Sun’ (have you seen it? If not … make it happen). Within 10 minutes, I started endlessly attempting to figure out the happy ending in the movie (le duh). My friends’ response? “Jessi. No more questions. We are not telling you, so just relax and watch.” Rude. Or not?
I’ve noticed that often in life, I’m so focused on the “end goal” or the “happy ending” that I’ve suddenly spent all my energy forcing the final conclusion to the surface (on my timing and my circumstances). And then I’m left exhausted, tired and the least bit inspired about the outcome when it finally arrives.
But that’s where it got me: it’s not the end goal that makes you; it’s the experience getting there that actually shapes you. That instant gratification of the 21st century has us feeling that we need to know the outcome (the promotion, the influence, the success, the ring, the career, the degree, the social acceptance) to feel complete. Not only that; we need it now. Instead of rushing to the end to see the fruits of my labor – I’ve realized the true purpose IS the labor. The training of life is in the present – in this VERY moment. But that’s where you have to trust the process.
You could rephrase this as: “God is not working toward a particular finish-line; His purpose is the process itself.” (Utmost Devotional) There will be times when God will lead us to make decisions in blind obedience – finding ourselves in seasons of confusion, searching for the “why” behind it all since it has yet to come to fruition. Until we suddenly realize that – perhaps we have been strengthened, matured, loved, and cleansed in between. All that forcing, rushing, and trying to make the outcome surface suddenly leaves us exhausted when: it is the trusting of the unknown that truly shapes us.
In “Under the Tuscan Sun,” the movie offers a stunning wardrobe and costume design, flaunts the majesties and tasteful culture of Italy and its villas, and fits in a multitude of purpose-fulfilling lessons in between. I wouldn’t have appreciated all of this beauty (and be able to write about it to you guys) if my friends had fed me the final answer I was persistently asking for. God knows when to give us our answer – and we should be sure and trusting that we can be thankful in the storm.
I encourage you to – think into it; find ways to truly appreciate the experiences that are shaping you (painful or not!), rather than relying on the end goal to make you. XOXO