Like a lot of people I have become addicted to binge watching TV shows on Netflix.
My most recent obsession is a show about unique and unusual homes. In this show the narrator follows the construction journey of homes that stand out, either because of their design, or location, or construction style. Often the home owner is very involved in the process which then becomes a large part of the story. As with all these shows there is predictable tension and drama, there are the inevitable set backs and moments of crisis, and there is the added human element as you get to know the owners as you watch them navigate the construction process. You soon realize these stories are not about buildings as much as they are about the people who are doing the building.
One thing that stands out is the amount of time it takes to build these homes. This is way beyond those weekend-make-over shows. Sometimes it takes several years to complete a house as they go from design to move in.
One recent episode really captured my attention. While most episodes follow the family for a year or two until the home is complete, this particular episode follows a family for more than ten years... and even after ten years the home is still not finished.
This family, and the home they are building is different. It is truly a labor of love. The father is a self inspired craftsman. He builds everything by hand using scraps and left-overs, and material that other people have thrown away. The family lives of the land. They live simple and happy lives. The home itself is a reflection of the family that is building it. It is unique but beautiful, odd but inspiring, put together from scraps but artistic and creative. It is a truly unique home... but it is still not finished.
All the other episodes focus on deadlines and drama. The pressure to complete the home, to reach the goal, to finish the project. This episode shows you none of that. This episode is about the journey, not the destination. In fact you get the impression that the family would just as soon not finish the house, they seem to love the journey. They don't want it to end.
I love this episode more than all the others because of the message it leaves with you. The process is more important than the outcome, the journey is more important than the destination. This family teaches us that life is not a goal to be reached but a journey to be enjoyed. Along the way things get done, the home is being built, but you realize that a finished home is not their objective. Creating something beautiful as they go is what matters most to this uniquely happy family.
I don’t like our modern approach to Christian Living. I think we spend too much time obsessing about goals, and destinies. We talk too much about plans and purposes, even if we couch it in terms like “God’s plan or purpose for my life”. I fear we have created a generation of neurotic and stressed out Christians. We have forgotten how to follow Jesus. We are so obsessed about the destination that we have forgotten how to enjoy the journey.
I think about how many stories in scripture begin with the phrase “As He went...” or “Along the way...” or “As He journeyed...”.
I have to conclude that even though Jesus had a strong sense of purpose, He allowed that purpose to be outworked as He went, along the way.
What if you and I woke up every morning thinking about how God might use us as we go about our daily activities. Instead of stressing about “What can I do for God today”, what if we had a simple and calm conviction that God is so gracious He will find a way to use me today as I simply go along the way. What if we learned to trust the process instead of stressing about the outcome.
In all the other episodes it is clear they are building a house, what makes this episode different is they are building a home. God's purpose for your life is not something you can accomplish for Him. God's purpose for your life is to transfrom you into the image of His Son... and that is a process that unfolds as we learn to journey with Him.
We worry so much about what can we do for God, but did you know there is actually a scripture that says God does not want us to build Him a house? Instead there a many scriptures where He says He wants to make us a home.