The New Destination

By David Long, Music Director

The New Destination Image
There is a small wooden plaque that sits on my bedside dresser. Every morning, right after I fall out of bed, I see this plaque sitting there. Sometimes the early morning light is not enough to illuminate the words on the plaque. But I know them by heart.

The best journeys answer questions you didn’t think to ask.

They are a beautiful daily reminder, which fits nicely with another phrase I repeat often.

It’s the journey, not the destination.

The 2015 Fall Bible Conference at Cedarville University really spoke to my heart. And a lot of other hearts as well. One hundred and fifteen people laid down their lives to receive Christ because of His word. That is absolutely incredible. I still get chills thinking about it. Reflecting on the message Clayton King shared, I keep coming back to one phrase.

God’s promise is a process.

As college students, we are very fixed on one goal: get the degree, get the job. That is why we are here, is it not? To reach that goal, we set mini goals: pass this test, write this paper, get that internship. College is goal-oriented.

But are those the goals we should really be striving for?

Psalm 46:10-11 says, “’Cease striving and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.’ The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our stronghold” (NASB).

Yes, we have to work towards something while we are in college. But what if that is not the point? What if the point, the goal, is what we are doing and learning and not get the degree or pass? God is using our time in college or at work or with people to accomplish His purpose. God is calling people to Himself. He wants our hearts, not our strivings. He will be exalted. Not if we try hard, not if we pass our test or get a job. God will be exalted and promises to be with us.

One of the many prayers David recorded in Psalms was, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit” (Psalm 51:12 ESV). Find joy in your rescue from sin. Find joy in the process God is working in your heart, to make you a new creation. We must be willing to find joy in the journey.

This summer, my sweetheart shared another “journey” phrase with me.

It’s not the journey or the destination; it’s the seatmate.

Jesus told His disciples He will never leave nor forsake them. And as Paul points out in Philippians 1:6, “And I am sure of this, that He who completed a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (ESV). God will be with us every step of the way. He does not promise an easy journey or a simple goal, He promises to be our seatmate.

It is time to pick a new destination. One where the journey is centered on Christ. So, as schedules go up, the deadlines approach, and the business hits hard, we can be in the journey. Learn. Grow. Live. And ask questions, lots of questions.

Because the best journeys answer questions you won’t even think to ask.

Soli Deo Gloria.

You are Enough

Enough Blog Image

All of us packed up our lives over the past week with different mindsets. Some who packed were full of excitement and anticipation as they thought of the friends and new adventures the year would hold. Some packed with sullen hearts, thinking about the pain and heartbroken memories that were waiting for them when they stepped on campus.

We have around 3,600 students on campus today. That means we have 3,600 different stories on campus. Combined, we have over 309,600 days of summer. Every individual experienced his or her own unique summer. Over the past few months new ideas were introduced, beliefs were broken, ideas were implemented, dreams were discovered, and inspiration was instituted.

Three hundred thousand six hundred days full of distinctly different struggles, people, passions, and circumstances.

That is a lot of separate realities. As we all walk back onto campus and enter the dorms and settle into our schedules, it is easy to overlook others’ stories. It is easy to be so overwhelmed with our own miseries or joys that we become rash in how we respond to people’s behavior. We do not stop to consider the reason behind their meticulous movements.

When we see how someone looks or how someone acts, we label them and put them in categories, which are more than likely not suitable for that person. Soren Kierkegaard said it most beautifully — “Once you label me, you negate me.”

People’s experiences, people’s pasts, and people’s scars are integrated together to create the individual you see before you. Woven together, these experiences create an unique soul, full of wonder and withered ends, glamour and grime, triumph and terror – – which should not be labeled.

Joy comes through acceptance of this truth and embracing people for who they are. Ultimately, Jesus’ death reveals more about His character than it does about us. He loved us so much, that He accepted where we were at and died to save us. He was enough to redeem us. Refusing to accept others diminishes His acceptance of us at the cross.

He was enough. That means you are enough and they are enough. Be open to discovering the depths of someone’s heart and soul today. Be open to who they are, what their reality is, what their past has been, and what their future may hold.