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Enjoy the Journey

We shouldn’t be so consumed with pursuing goals that we miss seeing daily life.

Children enjoying the moment.

Look here, you who say, ‘Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.’

How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fogit’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, ‘If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.’ Otherwise you are boasting about your own plans, and all such boasting is evil.” (James 4:13-16, NLT).

I recently heard of a study involving the top CEOs of the biggest companies in the world, and one common theme was apparent.

When interviewed, the majority of them said something like this: “If I could do it all over again, I would take time to stop and smell the roses. I would take more walks with my spouse. I wouldn’t be so stressed and uptight. I would slow down and enjoy the journey more.”

This intrigued me, as I am also very career-driven and goal-oriented, so I researched this topic a bit more and stumbled upon an article about Bronnie Ware, author of The Top Five Regrets of the Dying: A Life Transformed by the Dearly Departing

Ware, who cared for those who were nearing the end of their lives, wrote: “All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.”

After pondering, processing and praying about all of this, I’ve come to this conclusion–being driven is a good thing, as long as you take time to enjoy the journey in all of your “driven-ness.”

That’s how we should live life.

We shouldn’t be so consumed with our goals in life that we miss the privilege of living. It’s important that we take time today and every day to appreciate the people and the blessings that God has given us.

If we don’t, when we finally reach our goals, after neglecting our friends and family along the way, we’ll have no one to celebrate with us. Or, we will have worked so hard and so long to accomplish our goals, that we’ll be too tired or in too poor health to savor that success.

Winter sky. Photo by Michelle Medlock Adams.

We really can have it all, if we do it God’s way. Allow Him to prioritize your life and direct your steps. And, don’t be in too much of a hurry to bask in the beauty of the moment.

Every day is a gift, so treat it as such. Then, when we get to the end of our lives, we won’t have any regrets, only sweet memories of a life filled with love, laughter, success and satisfaction.

Here are 10 things you should take time to do in the near future:

1)   Read a book to a special child in your life.

2)   Slow dance with your significant other.

3)   Watch the sun set, and thank God for painting the sky so beautifully.

4)   Take your dog for a walk.

5)   Visit or call your parents just to say you love them. (If your parents have already passed, then visit an elderly aunt or uncle.)

6)   Stop by your best friend’s house with her favorite Starbucks concoction and share a few moments of cappuccino and conversation.

7)   Put on some worship music and praise the Lord at the top of your lungs.

8)   Go to that community concert that you’re always too busy for…you know you’re going to love it!

9)   Look up into the night sky and find the various constellations, and then thank God for His handiwork.

10) Do something silly and fun with your family like have a picnic in your living room or have pancakes for dinner or wear your PJs all day on Saturday while having a movie marathon.

Pray this with me:

Father, I am thankful for the reminder that every day is a gift. Help me to not get so caught up in the busyness of life that I forget to enjoy living and appreciating all of the blessings You have given me.

And, Lord, please prioritize my life so that I will achieve the dreams You have placed in my heart while still enjoying the journey. In the precious Name of Your Son, Jesus, Amen.

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