Last Saturday I participated in a 5K run with my youngest daughter who is 7 years old. Running is something that I have grown to appreciate. It’s a peaceful time for me. So when I had this opportunity to run with my youngest child, I was excited and she was too.

But my youngest never runs. She may ride her bike once in a while, but she’s a total princess. What she loves to do are dressing up, doing artworks & crafts, singing & so forth. Although I was happy about our run together, I knew that it was going to be a challenge for her to run the 5K.

My advice to her was let’s run slowly together & pace ourselves.

Well, she didn’t.

She wanted to win the race so badly that she ran as fast as she could from the start. As a result, she got tired rather quickly, and here we were walking while all these younger children & even parents with strollers were passing us by.

My daughter didn’t seem all that happy. Actually she looked quite grumpy despite my attempts to encourage her because she knew that she wasn’t going to win this race. Of course I really didn’t care about winning or our time. In fact, I knew that we weren’t going to win, but the fact that my daughter & I could do something together just two of us made all the difference. That is why my wife signed us up.

We did eventually finish the race. When she saw the finish line & her school teachers cheering for her, she got a burst of energy. And I noticed joy in her face as she ran across the finish line. By the time we took a picture together with a medal around her neck, she looked quite happy.

Although I was also glad that we finished the race, I still felt like we missed something. Maybe my daughter is too young to understand, but I wished that we could’ve enjoyed more of each other when we ran, and not so much on the race itself. It’s not every day that we get to run a 5K together. The weather was beautiful, and there were so much that we could’ve shared & laughed about during our run.

We could’ve talked about her school, her friends, artworks that she’s working on, her new dress that she was going to wear to church on Sunday. I would’ve enjoyed that. Obviously what interests a 2nd grader isn’t what I prefer to talk to about, but if that’s what’s going to keep our conversation going & have that connection between us, I welcome it because the one I adore is her.

I’m sure you’ve heard that life is not a destination but a journey numerous times. But still it seems like we are always trying to get something done or achieve something. We are very goal oriented. I’m not going to deny that goals & setting them are important, but I wonder what our Father in heaven truly desires from us?

Does omnipotent God need or want us to accomplish these things for Him? Does He? I would think that everything we are able to produce for God would be like how 2nd grade stuff is to a grown man. On one hand, we don’t care for childish things. But on the other hand, that childish thing that my own child has made becomes the most beautiful thing in the world that I will always treasure because it reminds me of her.

Achievements & accomplishment are more for us than for God. Call it the building of the Tower of Babel. What can we offer to God who possesses all things? There’s a way to know the difference between what is for us & what is truly for God.

What is truly for God’s glory will give us satisfaction & a sense of security that will last where what is for our own glory will not. Towers of Babel do not remain standing.

This is why once we achieve something, we can’t even enjoy it. Instead we just move on to the next task, and unless we are busy achieving something, we feel unworthy. But think about this. If the time we spent on getting to our destination is disproportionate to the time that we are actually there, that is to say, if most of our lives are spent on getting to our destination, then where should our emphasis be, on the process or the end?

Just like how finishing our 5K was a matter of time, God’s will being done in our lives is also just a matter of when. I really can’t think of a time when I couldn’t finish something for God. For example, preparing for Sunday messages & Bible Studies, both of which requires a lot of time & prayers, but as a pastor you can’t anticipate how your week is going to be. Some weeks are manageable. Others can be quite hectic, but still God helps you to always finish. So the question isn’t whether I will finish or not, but am I going to pass through this process with peace & joy? But what determines whether I will enjoy this process or not comes to down to whether I am conversing & having fellowship with God because through our conversation, I’m reminded once again who is walking besides me. Something about being in the Father’s presence makes you believe that all will be well.

Of course, if we don’t talk to Him, we will end up only talking to ourselves, but the danger of talking to ourselves is that things can get somewhat warped, amplified, even hopeless because you have shut your ears to the One who speaks the truth that can free us.

The truth is we will get there.

We will finish.

Our prayers will be answered.

Obstacles will be overcome.

And there will be life & rejoicing!

Even for us, we will have our financial clearance by the deadline, and we will be in Southeast Asia this summer.

The question is always, “Are we going to enjoy the One who is walking beside us?”

Because what God desires is us, His children being joyful & happy in His presence

I’m thinking that this is why God ordained process/journey often appears to be so beyond our ability, so that we don’t have a choice but to look around & see who is next to us. And no matter how slow we are going or discouraged we may be, we will always find the loving Father walking beside us to lead us to the finish line.

So don’t worry about the end. We will get there. It’s given.

Simply enjoy your walk with your Father.