It's been a while now, but I use to go geocaching often. For those of you who are unfamiliar, geocaching is kind of like an electronic treasure hunt. People from all over hide these "treasure chests" for others in the geocaching community to find. It's pretty simple, especially now that every smart phone is loaded with a GPS system. You pull up a "cache" or find the coordinates to where "X" marks the spot, whip out your handy dandy iPhone loaded with the geocaching app, and off you go. Once you discover the treasure you can sign the log with your “super duper adventurous born to do this” caller ID and you can rummage through the container to see if there is anything that suits your liking. (Take something, leave something is the motto.) There are also Geo Coins or travel bugs that are looking to find their way to a certain destination. Some come from Germany; others we have found seek to find a ride to NYC or South Carolina. It's pretty exciting.
In the midst of the hunt, it's thrilling to know you are on the right path as you watch the little dot move closer to the "jackpot." Usually the "treasure chests" are hidden far off the beaten path (watch out for snakes), some require hiking or crossing small streams, and every now and then you will have to descend down some large hills (which means an uphill work out on your way back to the car-like the time we descended the massive hill in the waist high grass on 288 at Westchester Commons.) Once you are in the thick of the woods, you find the container and it becomes easy to spot the way out . . . but coming in, the way was hidden, because the focus was on the map-the GPS, not necessarily on the surroundings.
We can view life like a treasure hunt at times. We can be so intent on finding what we are looking for we forget to see the path that we are on.
I feel lately that my eyes have been glued on the GPS, on the goal vs. the path that has been set before me. I've been striving to get to whatever "X" marks the spot on any given day, rather enjoy my path and its surroundings. My sight has been so self focused and future driven, that I have missed several opportunities to love well the people who have been passing through, or to stop and share a word of encouragement with the hiker who is resting from fatigue, or to take the time to venture out into overgrown thicket and help that wandering traveler find their way back.
Psalm 16: 11 found its way in front of me this morning. It says "You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasure of living with you forever."
In geocaching the joy and excitement are found in using the GPS and discovering the treasure at the end of each hunt, but in life, the game is different. We, as Christ followers, know what the treasure is--meeting Jesus face to face and spending eternity in His presence. And as I've tried to process my foul mood, and the root of my discontent this week, I realize that joy doesn't come from knowing the final destination and in waiting for that day to arrive, striving to accomplish every goal I envisioned my life would hold.
Hello?!!?!!! Mel, it's not about you!!!!!
The joy comes from walking with the Holy Spirit everyday of life here on Earth, following His lead to love others and to invite them to accompany us on this incredible journey. Yes, I do believe we all have desires and hopes for our lives, and that's a good thing. I have just discovered that when I start focusing solely on my goals and dreams, my life tends to get out of wack and I become Miss Grumpy Pants. (My apologies for all who have been witness to that this week.)
I don't need to worry which path my life needs to venture down. Psalm 16 states, that He will show me the way. And He does. I just have to let Him lead, and choose to follow. My joy comes from walking Him, knowing that He is forever by my side, covering me in love and strength and grace.
And today, I am rediscovering that God is the listening ears we all crave in our lives. He wants to hear about my dreams, and goals and desires, and every little detail of my day. But He always wants me to trust that He knows best, and to believe that the map He has already created, will lead me to a life beyond my wildest imagination.
Sometimes, there are bumps along the way. And for me, this has been a week of crawling over them, for struggling to get myself out of the way, to put others first and to let the Holy Spirit take the lead and direct me down a joy packed, love filled treasure hunt of my life.
Eyes on the path, Mel, not the destination!!!