As a hospice volunteer coordinator, I have to account for the hours that my volunteers serve. When a visit is made, our volunteers fill out a timesheet. No matter how many times I instruct them on how to fill out the timesheets, inevitably I get back notes without the “travel time” factored into the total. It’s natural to think that a visit begins when you enter the home of a patient and ends when you exit their home. But what about the time involved in getting to/from the destination? It’s easy to volunteer a couple hours and, when you get home, realize you’ve spent a half-day away. There was more invested in the visit than you thought. The travel time is vital to the visit because, without it, the visit could not be made.
Sometimes, along the way towards a goal in life, we neglect the importance of the “travel time.” We focus all our efforts on reaching our goals and neglect what happens before we get there. Have you ever said:
“when I turn 18, I’m going to _______,” or
“when I finish college, I’ll be able to _______,” or
“when I get married, I’ll _______,” or
“when I get financially able, I’ll _______,” or
“when I have kids, I’ll _______,” or
“when I retire, I’ll ______?”
I could go on and on, but you get the point. I think about how many of my own goals I have yet to achieve. I also realize that half my life is behind me and there are years that I cannot even account for. I was so focused on the next big step that, somewhere along the way, I lost the ability to focus on the walk. Now, my life seems to be in fast-forward mode and I need it to slow down so I can catch up doing all the things I wanted to do in my 20s and 30s. Unfortunately, my 30s are coming to a close and I am becoming more aware that I must make my time, wherever I am in life, count.
Jesus was a traveler. He said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has no place to lay his head.” (Mat. 8:20) Jesus had certain destinations, but the Bible accounts for the multitudes of miracles that He performed during His travel time (Mat. 8-9). He also used His travel time to break away and seek God, and to teach and serve others. Have you ever noticed that Jesus was never in a hurry?
When Mary and Martha came to Jesus, petitioning Him for help because their brother, Lazarus, was sick, Jesus did not move immediately as they expected. John 11:6 says, “Yet when He heard that Lazarus was sick, He stayed where He was two more days.” Ultimately, Lazarus would die. Jesus knew this, yet did not respond right away. He understood the consequence of waiting, but He also knew that a bigger purpose was being fulfilled during the travel time. Jesus told His disciples, “Lazarus is dead, and for your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe.” (Jo. 11:14-15) He proclaimed, “it is for God's glory so that God's Son may be glorified through it." (Jo. 11:4) When Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, there was no doubt about who did it.
While you are waiting on the next big step, God can fill your days with purpose along the way (and we don’t have to be in a hurry to get there). He can use the travel time as a season of waiting, preparation, growth, discipline, molding, and serving others - ultimately positioning you for the next destination and showing His glory. God’s will for our lives can only be accomplished through the journey He has for each of us to follow. In reality, only a fraction of life is arriving at a destination. The majority of our days on earth are the moments in between destinations. And our time is very short. “What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.” (Ja. 4:14) I encourage you to view the travel time as a major part of your journey and seek ways to be productive, grow, and enjoy this time.
Lord, help me see the importance of each day you have given me. Teach me how to better utilize my time. Although I may not have reached all my goals yet, I can still be beneficial to Your kingdom along the way. Forgive me for squandering the times You have blessed me with and help me be open to new opportunities to learn, grow, and serve on my way. Help me not to resent the travel time, but to embrace the blessings it can provide. May Your glory be evident in all the seasons of my life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2010 From My Heart To Yours