What do you do when you live by destination satisfaction but you have nowhere to go?
(I’m not talking about tourism but you know, now that I think about it, there are similarities.)
Destination Satisfaction: Looking for satisfaction or fulfillment found in the next destination, activity, possession, or accomplishment.
Our current experience of the world is, in many ways, built upon destination satisfaction. You know the drill, you’ve been living in the system. Achieve the next milestone. Seek the next promotion. Search out the next great experience. Reach the next level of education/job title/salary/etc.
Sit around talking for a while and you just may find people living in the “remember whens.” You know how that goes too, you might be found to have said it a time or two yourself. “Remember when… [insert sharing a fond memory of the past or telling a story conveying how good the old days use to be]…”
But there is a problem for most of us right now, we have nowhere to go. Lives, careers, travel plans, accomplishments… they are all on hold. We can’t go forward. We can’t go back. We’re living in an “in-between.”
Truth is, most of us weren’t completely happy where we were last. Our “remember whens” suffer from rose colored glasses. And even if we could do the next great thing, it would only satisfy until the new car smell wore off and we’d again be off seeking the next destination satisfaction.
A problem deep within has been brought to the surface. On any “normal day” we do a good job hiding it, stuffing it deep inside and covering it over with a layer of concealer. (Or so we think.) But things look anything but normal now and the more days go by the less we can hide the truth from being exposed.
Precisely when we have nowhere to go, the truth rises to the surface.
a poem by Sarah Bourns
We’ve all been exposed.
Not necessarily to the virus
(maybe…who even knows ).
We’ve all been exposed BY the virus.
Corona is exposing us.
Exposing our weak sides.
Exposing our dark sides.
Exposing what normally lays far beneath the surface of our souls,
hidden by the invisible masks we wear.
Now exposed by the paper masks we can’t hide far enough behind.
Corona is exposing our addiction to comfort.
Our obsession with control.
Our compulsion to hoard.
Our protection of self.
Corona is peeling back our layers.
Tearing down our walls.
Revealing our illusions.
Leveling our best-laid plans.
Corona is exposing the gods we worship:
Our sense of security.
Our favorite lies
Our secret lusts
Our misplaced trust.
Corona is calling everything into question:
What is the church without a building?
What is my worth without an income?
How do we plan without certainty?
How do we love despite risk?
Corona is exposing me.
My mindless numbing
My endless scrolling
My careless words
My fragile nerves.
We’ve all been exposed.
Our junk laid bare.
Our fears made known.
The band-aid torn.
The masquerade done.
So what now? What’s left?
What Corona reveals, God can heal.
Come Lord Jesus.
Have mercy on us.
When there is nowhere else to run to and nowhere to retreat and there is nothing left to hide… you may find the truth you’ve been trying to ignore.
This world is not your home. We have chance to be stewards here, ambassadors, sojourners passing through but we travel here with a purpose with an ultimate destination in which to be satisfied. Christ said the kingdom of heaven is at hand and the Holy Spirit indwells us. Yet physically, we are still here in a broken world, journeying through with a purpose set on a greater destination.
And when we get too caught up the the temporal and suffocated by the present circumstance we may find the truth – that we’ve been trying to find satisfaction in the wrong destination.
The destination we’ve been seeking can’t be found in titles, achievements, vacations, or possessions, schedules, or planning… the place of rest, security, deliverance, purpose, hope, joy, peace is a person…
Then I pray to you, O Lord.
I say, “You are my place of refuge.
You are all I really want in life.
The destination you’ve been seeking has been where you’re at the whole time. He’s never left you nor forsaken you. His power is perfect in your weakness. His rod and staff comfort. His light shines in the darkness.
When you have nowhere to go you’re in the perfect place to find the best place you could ever be: in His presence.
You will keep in perfect peace
all who trust in you,
all whose thoughts are fixed on you!
If we’re honest, many of this face this week feeling something much less than “perfect peace.” We were powering through the interruptions, pressing on through the changes, persisting through the difficulties… but at some point, when our strength ran low and our patience thin… we began to see that our thoughts aren’t firmly fixed where they ought to be and the result? Less than the perfect peace God offers.
It’s true, we’ve been exposed and what has been revealed, God can heal. How will you respond to this opportunity? Will you stay in the uncomfortable long enough to hear God’s still small voice speaking truth to your weary mind and peace to your unsettled heart? Will you confess the patterns of comfort you’ve put in the place of resting in God?
What do you hear the truth of God’s word speaking to you in the midst of this moment? You don’t have to run anywhere or from anything in response, God is already there with you. Cry out to Him, “You are my place of refuge. You are all I really want in life.”