The title of the message today didn't seem too shocking or life-altering: Contend 'Til the End. Most of the sermon was based on a verse from 2 Timothy, where Paul is telling Timothy how he (this is paraphrased because my notes aren't in front of me) fought the good fight and never gave up. Our pastor was urging us not to give up - to stay the course.
As is usual in a sermon, little jaunts happen. These little jaunts are often where I find the most wisdom. Today, it was this:
"We spend more time focusing on the destiny and the destination that God has for us when, oftentimes, it's the journey that's the most important."
From that came statements that really made me realize that I've been more focused on the future than the present.
I spend more of my time thinking about what's going to happen next year than what's happening right now. At one point, I remember Pastor Mike saying that we need to be content with where we are and what we have - not complacent, but content. That really made me think.
How often do I complain about being here, in Hawaii? How often do I wish that I were "home?" How often do I think about getting back home? How often do I plan for the future and getting back to where I want to be? How often do I say "I just want to go home?"
Far too often.
I wish for a bigger house, carpet instead of hardwood floors, central A/C instead of units, dish instead of cable, a newer computer, a newer phone, a bigger paycheck, my husband to be HOME, on and on and on.
When am I ever just satisfied?
Honestly, I don't think I could tell you the last time that I was just content with things the way they are. Not even a year ago. Whenever I get something good, I want more. I want bigger. I want better.
But that's the way we're trained. From the time we're itty bitty, we're trained to want more. TV, the internet, magazines, newspapers, books, our peers, our families - basically everything and everyone - are telling us that we need the next best thing. Think about it! You buy a new computer, and two months later it's outdated. You buy a new car and as soon as you drive it off the lot it's lost 10% of its value.
That's not the way we're supposed to live, though. I should be content with what I have. Only when I'm content and faithful with the things that I have will God bless me with more. Why would he give me a million dollars when I can barely handle a thousand? That would just be silly!
The Army is part of my journey. Hawaii is part of my journey. This deployment is part of my journey. Whether I like it or not, this is another detour on my way to the destination - the destiny that God has for me. If I spend all my time wishing time away, I will have wasted part of the journey. I may not learn all the things that God wants me to learn. I may not grow the way I should. If I'm faithful in this little detour, what blessings will He bring me? I can only imagine the things to come...
I suppose I have a lot of learning to do really soon. Lesson #1 in this part of my journey:
Bloom where you are planted.