I am arguably the most impatient person I know.

I hate to wait. In lines. In crowds. For the microwave.

But mainly I struggle with waiting for life. The goals and aspirations I have for myself – I want them. Now. Yesterday. And I’ve had this problem all of my life. 

For the last two and a half years, I have been working toward a goal. A big goal. A hard one. And I achieved it. And I want to reap the benefits of it immediately.

But that’s just not how life works.

You don’t often get immediate gratification for the big things in life.  Raising children, saving money for a big purchase, getting higher education, putting time into a career. These things are processes. Even our spiritual growth is a long and never-ending process as we are changed “from glory to glory.”

I simply have to keep reminding myself that in those areas of life, and others, it’s really the journey that matters, not the destination. I started realizing that more and more in my last weeks of school as I began to realize how much I was going to miss the people I had come to know and see every day.

This Epiphany week I’ve been thinking a lot about journeys. The one the Magi made to see the Christ child. The journey the Israelites made out of Egypt. The many journeys made by the disciples and apostles. Journeys are important. 

I have to remind myself of that with my daughter. When it seems like I’ve told her something for the thousandth time. It’s the journey, not the destination.

When I feel tempted to judge others. It’s their journey. Their learning process, not mine.

When I feel tempted to linger in regret, those moments are part of my journey. They had a purpose if for no other reason but to humble me.

When I feel utterly uncertain of the future, wish I could snap my fingers and have circumstances change, and simply (though shamefully) feel like what I have isn’t enough – I must remember.

My journey is more important than, and necessary to, my destination.