Time Out (by Jerry Schmoyer)
We recently went on a trip, but did it differently than is usually done. We found out at the last minute we had to use up some vacation time or lose it, so we had to plan a special trip in just a few days. Normally we would dream about where we wanted to go and then start making plans, but this time we first looks for a cheap airplane ticket and when we found something unbelievable affordable its destination became where we decided to spend our time. Finding a last-minute deal at a resort was easy because the economy was causing everyone to lower prices, especially for rooms that would have been going unused. Finding a cheap airfare is easy if you aren’t particular about the destination. We ended up in Cancun!
The point of telling you all that is to make an analogy with life. Many people live their lives like we planned our trip. Instead of picking a destination and planning how to get there, they just go in what seems the easiest, cheapest direction. What ever seems like fun and doesn’t take a lot of effort is the path their life takes.
There definitely is a down side to planning this way. While we saved a lot of money on travel, our travel days started at 2 AM and didn’t end until late in the evening. When life is lived this way there are definitely hidden costs that at first one doesn’t expect.
How are you entering 2009? Do you have a definite destination in mind for yourself spiritually, emotionally, educationally, socially, financially and relationally in 2009? Or are you just going to take whatever comes easiest and follow that path? If you don’t know what you are shooting for you’ll never hit the target! And sometimes we don’t want to shoot at anything. We just want to stay safely at home and not risk the difficulties or travel. We don’t want to leave the comfort of where we are now at so we don’t grow or stretch. That may be safe, but it doesn’t bring growth.
How should we plan for 2009? First spend time in prayer and meditation evaluating where you are in life spiritually, emotionally, etc. Then think about where you’d like to be a year from now. The goal should be large enough to challenge and stretch you, but not so far out that it is unattainable and discourages you. When you have an idea then start planning. As in any trip, research where you are going and how to get there. Talk to others who have made the trip to get advice from them. Plan it all step by step, like you would a vacation. Then carry out your plans just like when you travel.
Living this way is more costly than taking the cheapest and easiest route, but you must be willing to pay the price if you want to get to the destination. Life often puts detours and obstacles in your way. There are very few direct flights from where you now are to where you want to be next year, so be prepared for some tough travel conditions. That means be flexible, but always keep moving toward your goal. See the obstacles as challenges. Remember, the process is the key, for without the process there is no product. We just want to get there, but God is more concerned about the process. When God is your travel agent and plans your trip it may not be as smooth and easy as you’d like, but you can be sure the destination is worth it.
So have a nice trip – no matter what it is like. Take it one step at a time. By the time the end of December 2009 rolls around you’ll be glad you did!
Take a few minutes to pray and meditate about where you are now and where God wants you to be in the following areas. Write down what He shows you.
- Relational – spouse
- Relational – family
- Relational – friends
Jerry Schmoyer has been a minister in Pennsylvania for over 25 years and has worked with teenagers for 14 years, ever since I became one myself. He authors the weekly Time Out series here at Life in Student Ministry in hopes to spiritually refresh your soul as you continually pour so much of yourself into students. God bless!
Posted on December 29, 2008