I’m sitting in the Toronto airport waiting to board a flight to Paris. The funny thing is I should be two hours into a flight bound for Athens.
On Friday I was running through an airport in California praying to make a flight after a little train issue left me way later than my comfort allows. I barely skid into my seat before the plane left, which unfortunately meant my bag wasn’t as lucky. Today I was running through the airport to catch a connection in Canada after my flight left late from Houston due to “mechanical malfunction.”
Things don’t always go the way that you want them to. Life has a horrendously beautiful way of giving us a few bumps, bruises and unexpected curves on our way to… Well, to… where?
I’ve had a hard time writing lately. I’ve sat down to write blogs more times than I can count in the last couple of months and I just can’t seem to put words on paper that adequately describe my heart.
This year is half over and it’s been a wild journey of some of the absolute highest highs of my life, and those of course do not come without their share of trials, heartache and imperfections. I’m on a path that I never could have even imagined just a few short years ago and it’s all left me pondering, maybe even searching.
More and more I’m learning that this life is hardly about some proverbial destination that is my ultimate destiny and is more often than not simply about… well today. It’s about today. It seems so anti-climatic doesn't it?
It’s about the imperfect way of life.
The days when I’ve had the privilege to receive awards and high honor and the days that I’ve sat in the dirt listening to horrific personal stories from victims of terrorism. The days when I’m running through airports, but also the days that I’m just watching a movie or cleaning my room.
I have this sense that perhaps I’m not less close to my “destiny” when I’m sitting outside having dinner with my good friends while their kids climb trees and maybe just maybe I’m not any closer when I’m in the refugee camp or even behind the pulpit.
Many of these bumps and bruises from life’s hard knocks, my own stubborn pride, or even my youthful ignorance have felt like massive detours on the way to who I’m “called to be.” But, what if in some way that scar on my head where life hit me with a baseball bat wasn’t a detour at all? What if it knocked me forward a few steps? What if some of the trials, tribulations, bumps and bruises were just part of this imperfect way of life.
In the imperfections of my life, in my own mind, in the world, in the refugee camps, in Redding, even in the church I find Jesus closer than ever.
I find that Jesus isn’t so afraid of the imperfections or even the detours. It’s almost as if He’s drawn to them. It honestly doesn’t make any sense, but it makes me convinced of one thing.
He’s okay when things get messy. He won’t give up on us. He won’t run away. He’s not shaking in fear when things get a little out of control whether it’s by design, demonic attack. or even my own mistakes.
I wished our destiny looked like a stair case that just went up one step at a time until we reached our destination. I wished there was a moment where we stood at the top of the stairs and threw our hands in the air like Rocky to scream out in victory. Unfortunately it seems more like my trip to Greece.
Sometimes you do all you can, you get there early, bags are checked, security goes smoothly, and you’re at the gate prepared and ready with two hours to go. Then there’s a mechanical malfunction, that leaves you behind. You get up in the air which is a massive victory only to find out that storms will leave you waiting out on the tarmac. When you are finally allowed to get off that plane you have to take running a half mile only to get to the gate in time to watch the door shut right in front of you. So you get in line waiting as patiently as possible to recover from your mile long sprint and wait hopefully for another victory. Bad news comes as they predict a long layover, but then light shines through as they are able to shift and move and reroute you to Paris (who doesn’t want to go to Paris?) That’s when you get some kicker news though, you’ll still be missing about 6 hours of some things you had planned.
If you’ve learned that life is imperfect you take each victory and each trial in stride. You sit back sip a good latte’ and smile because honestly you’re just privileged that you get to live this life. At times it’s hard, at times it’s fun and wild, at times you’re coasting in victory, and sometimes you’re sprinting to make up time, but each step, each decision, each trial, it’s actually all part of your destiny.
So do what I did, put on your "courage" shirt and embrace life.
Because your destiny looks a lot more like a journey than a destination.