Journey

“Taking a trip for six months, you get in the rhythm of it. It feels like you can go on forever doing that. Climbing Everest is the ultimate and the opposite of that. Because you get these high-powered plastic surgeons and CEOs, and you know, they pay $80,000 and have Sherpas put the ladders in place and 8,000 feet of fixed ropes and you get to the camp and you don’t even have to lay out your sleeping bag. It’s already laid out with a chocolate mint on the top. The whole purpose of planning something like Everest is to effect some sort of spiritual and physical gain and if you compromise the process, you’re an @$$#*!& when you start out and you’re an @$$#*!& when you get back.”

- Yvon Chouinard, founder of Patagonia


Yvon is a little crusty around the edges.  He never set out to successfully lead a huge corporation, but that is precisely what he is doing.  His unconventional path to building a large business has provided him with some very unique perspectives.  To be completely candid, I disagree with many of the things he says, but I think he nails it when it comes his thoughts on it being about the journey and not the destination.

 

Oswald Chambers says something similar:

“What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power now. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me. God is not working toward a particular finish— His purpose is the process itself…It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God.”

 

Is Chouinard referencing Oswald Chambers?  Probably not, but they seem to be in solid agreement.  It is more about the journey you take than the destination you find.  But don’t get me wrong, that doesn’t diminish the value of goal setting, in fact, we spend a lot of time,

 

Crafting visions

Creating strategic plans

Setting goals

Defining action steps

Developing execution oriented meeting models

 

We need to thoughtfully and prayerfully plan for a different future.  But if we don’t stop and celebrate our successes along the way, we are going to miss the point and the glory of the journey as it was intended.  It would almost be like saying that the Christian life is a just a long, arduous struggle of a journey with the only celebration coming at the end in eternity.

 

Wait a minute! 

 

That is exactly what many of us have determined the Christian life to be.  Dallas Willard talks about the “gospel of sin management” in his epic treatise, A Divine Conspiracy.  He says we have reduced the glorious gospel message into a “life-long lesson in sin management” with a “get-out-of-hell free card” at the end.

 

No wonder we all have a hard time enjoying the journey.  

No wonder we can’t stop and smell the roses.

No wonder every day short of the destination feels like failure.

 

The reality is that the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.  There is beauty, glory, and things to be celebrated with every step of the journey.  The only requirement is that we have eyes to see.

 

My children are not who they are going to become.

My company is not where it is going to be.

I am not the man I want myself to be.

 

But my children are not who they used to be, my company has made tremendous progress, and so have I.  I am trying to walk with God more, enjoy the journey, and celebrate all the glory available along the way.  And I am working every day to help others find the same.

 

  • How are things going for you?
  • Are you making the progress you think you should be?
  • Are you marking your steps, celebrating your successes, and experiencing the glory of the journey?
  • If you aren't, how much is it costing those you lead?