It starts early. Every dad knows he’s going to start getting the question from his kids as soon as they have cognitive thought.

“Are we there yet?”

That longing to get to a destination is in all of us, and it never seems to go away. It was true of the Israelites who were being led by God from Egypt to the Promised Land:

Then they set out from Mount Hor by the way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became impatient because of the journey (Numbers 21:4 NASB).

Enjoying the Ride

Our family loves to travel, particularly to go west. There’s something about the mountains and the vast expanse of the western states that expands my soul. I love the drive as much as the destination, because there are 10,000 things to see and learn along the way.

Most Christians lose the value of each common day—the relationships we can enjoy and cultivate for the glory of God … the friendships that enrich our lives and the means to enrich others … the faith we can grow in every day by simply being faithful … the experiences God longs to use each day to grow us.

Jesus spent three years in such days with His disciples. And each day bore lasting fruit.

The Issue Is Not the Issue

When I had just graduated from seminary, Holly and I had a number of churches contact us in one summer. Every week, it seemed, was a grueling decision that had to be made about our future. I got frustrated with the process.

My brother Tom called one day and reminded me that “the issue is not the issue.” He wisely counseled me that God has daily purposes, and that the process was teaching us something about how to hear and find the will of God.

“The process is as important as the end result,” Tom said. I’ve never forgotten that counsel, and it has helped me be more patient with the journey, particularly as a spiritual leader.

God was teaching the Israelites how to trust Him. These were valuable days that would prove incredibly fruitful as they entered the Promised Land. They needed to realize that each day was building dependency they would need later.

They needed to be patient in the journey. And so do we.