Goals versus Journey – by Grant Small

As I reflect back on the past year and a bit since we purchased the house, I must confess that I have had to learn a lot about God, life and myself. As a driven and goal orientated person I have most of the time become very frustrated at the slow process of purchasing and renovating Liberty House, in order that it will be satisfactory for the ladies that we are planning to accommodate in the home.  The delays due to weather, resources and supplies have stretched and challenged me so much, that the project management of the renovations to Liberty house was delegated to Peta-Ann.
When I am back in South Africa, so often I am asked to provide feedback on the progress being made.  Often the progress has been minimal, sometimes significant, but I always find myslef explaining that “the renovation process is taking longer than we originally anticipated or planned”.

Just recently as I have pondered these delays and other challenges I began to realize that whilst I am mostly interested in achieving the goal, our Lord is more interested in our journey. I have come to understand that along this journey I have learnt many lessons and that these lessons have been great ‘character lessons’.

Grant’s Character Lessons:

Lack of Patience – Let me state clearly that I am not a very patient person.  I am not patient with process.  I am not patient with people and most of all I have little patience with myself.  However one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit is …… Patience and the delays along the way have tested my patience and has in someway taught me to have more patience.

My identity is often attached to my achievements – I think that this is a biggie.  Achieving goals is inextricably linked to my identity.  I want to achieve great things.  I want to see results and when I am successful, I feel not only accomplishment but also a sense of pride.  I have had to learn that a large part of my identity is linked to what I achieve rather than who I am in Christ or who I am becoming.  Jesus loves me unconditionally in spite of my achievements.

Trusting in Jehovah Jireh – I believe in hard work.  I believe that we reap the      rewards of our hard work.  Along the journey I have seen how in times of financial need, when we question just how we will have the finances to complete the house, that our Lord is one step ahead.  I have learned that God knows our needs.  Through the generosity of others, in obedience to God, I can confess that when the resources have been needed our Lord has provided.  I am reminded that Karen McPhail has often said to us that “where there is vision that is according to God’s plans, there is provision”.  I have been humbled by God’s faithfulness and people’s generosity.

Family and Friends – Although the journey is hard and there are many obstacles along the journey, it is often the encouragement of our family, both natural and spiritual, and our friends that lift us when we are facing challenges.

So to conclude here are some of the gems I have learned that I am taking away with me from this process.

  • God is more interested in our journey than the destination or objectives
  • Patience is not only a virtue but also a gift
  • I am not my goals and achievements
  • Irrespective of my hard work, God is still my Provider
  • Family matters!
  • Friends are incredibly important

So whilst the house is taking longer than I thought it would, there is great progress. Slower progress than I had thought or would like, but that is okay      too.

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