I went to Cedar Point last week with my sister who had just broken her foot. She had to wear a boot on her foot to help her get around. Because of this we were able to wait for a ride without getting in line. All we had to do was go to where the line started, get them to sign a paper letting us know what time to return, and then go do whatever we wanted. When we came back, we got to go through the exit and get on the ride without having to wait like everyone else. It was awesome!!
Actually, it was awesome at first, but as the day wore on, I realized it wasn’t as great as I thought it would be. Don’t get me wrong, I did enjoy being able to get on a ride without waiting, but after a while I realized there was something missing in our experience that day. I actually started to miss waiting in line. I realized there is a better build up when you have to wait in line before getting on a ride than there is when you can just walk up and ride it. I also realized I missed being in line around other people and experiencing the excitement of getting closer and closer to actually being on the ride. There were multiple other things I missed as well, by not having to wait in line, that I realized all contribute to my total experience at Cedar Point.
As I was thinking about this towards the end of the day, I realized this is similar to how life is. There are so many things we want to do and accomplish and we think that if we can just get there quicker, we will enjoy it all the more. The reality is, though, that just like my experience at Cedar Point, when we arrive at our destination too quickly, there are things we actually miss in the process. It is the things we miss that actually are what help us grow and bring us the greatest joy in reaching our destination.
Think about how many times you have heard about a lottery winner who is now bankrupt. Why did that happen? I think it is because the person arrived at their destination before they were ready to get there. They found a shortcut to reach their goal, but it actually didn’t help them because they missed out on who they would have become in the process of reaching their goals. Who we become in the process of reaching our goals is just as important as reaching the goals themselves.
This made me think about my own life and all of the dreams and aspirations I have. So often I beat myself up and get discouraged because things aren’t happening as quickly as I want them to. I want to reach my goals right now! As I thought about this, I realized I need to enjoy the process I am going through to reach my goals because without it I will never become the person I want to become.
So think about your life for a minute. Are there areas of your life where you are frustrated because it is taking too long to reach your goals? Have you been looking for shortcuts to help get you to your goals quicker? What if you did reach your goals quicker, but just like the lottery winner who goes bankrupt, you didn’t become the person you needed to be because you missed out on the process?
Let me encourage you today by reminding you that it is the person you become in the process of reaching your dreams and goals that is actually more important than the goals themselves. Instead of trying to reach your destination quicker, take time to enjoy the experience of getting there. Instead of looking at what you haven’t done yet, look back at how far you have come. Focus on taking the next step forward instead of trying to take 100 steps at once. Life is a marathon and who you become during the race is just as important as finishing the race itself.