The Drive or the Destination?
John and I buckled in and drove from Sandy to Timberline; then, from Timberline to Hood River. Driving from Hood River toward Troutdale called for multiple stops along the way: Bonneville Dam, the fish hatchery, Multnomah Falls, Latourell Falls finally arriving at Crown Point. It was at the Vista House that winds as strong as a category 1 hurricane whipped around us. Early the next morning, we buckled in once again headed toward the central coast – a 3-hour drive to Yachats. After we arrived, we hiked the rugged shore, looked with amazement at Thor’s Well, Spouting Horn, hunted for agate and then made the final 3-hour leg of the return trip. We were tired. All that driving in two days for some would be disheartening. Many ask whether the exhilarating destinations are worth all that drive time. I would agree that it was a lot of driving, and it was exhausting.
It was never really about the destinations – although they are stunning – it was always about the drive.
My brother, John, who has been one of the most significant people in my life came for a visit. After one and a half years of not seeing one another, we hugged, talked and laughed. The drive was not hour upon hour of monotony; rather, it was a joyful reunion. It really didn’t matter what we did as long as we had the opportunity to connect and dialogue.
While I really enjoy an extraordinary destination, it’s the drive with a great friend that delights my soul. When Ron took me to my first Trailblazers game, it was never about the game. Rather, it was the conversation in the car, over a meal and throughout the game. It’s not about checking the box of hitting the destinations, but more about who you are with and are you enjoying the journey.
Nearly every weekend for an hour or more, we find Good Shepherd our destination. I hope you enjoy the worship as much as I do; David and Bruce in their wonderful humility take me new heights. I am so thankful for a church that has highly valued the Word of God as God’s blessing to make us complete. While I love this weekend destination, my spirit is genuinely overflowing when I experience who I am driving with at Good Shepherd. The times before and after each service are some of my favorite times because that’s when I am with my friends enjoying one another. It’s in these moments I get to talk with Dennis about the music CD he shared with me and to tell Rita I was blown away by the poem she wrote. Whether it’s 15 seconds of a hug and hello or minutes of sharing about our families, I realize every weekend how blessed I am to be driving along this journey with the Good Shepherd family.
From my vantage point, I get to see 30+ year small group friendships, and I am watching brand new friendships forming which could be the future 30+ year friendships that will make up Good Shepherd. There’s electricity throughout the lobby before and after service that is anointed. God is bringing His people together and uniting them together as a spiritual family. God is our heavenly father, and we are His sons and daughters. We like to say that we are a family on mission. We are God’s family pursuing God’s mission.
I am very glad we are making Good Shepherd our weekend destination, yet I am hopeful that you would also desire the drive. In addition to continuing to enjoy the wonderful relationships we already have, let’s get to know one or two new people of God’s family this weekend.