Driving west on a local highway early one morning, I met a runner trudging along at the edge of morning traffic. Sweat dripping from his face, he took care to stay in the berm as semi trailers and morning commuters flew by. Through my windshield I spied a look of pain that revealed an all-too-familiar message:

“This is hard. I’m not sure I can make it. What was I thinking?”

Sometimes when attempting a process we hope leads to a satisfying end goal, in the middle of slogging through we’re struck with the truth: it’s harder than we expected and we’re not sure it’s worth the pain. When the end goal is nowhere in sight and we’re tempted to give up, it might be time to slow down and respect the process. Because the process just might be the goal.

In a sermon recorded over a century ago, theologian and teacher Oswald Chambers said that if we believe God has a desired goal for our lives, we must accept that He does not. “The question of getting to a particular end is a mere incident,” says Chambers. “What we call the process, God calls the end.”

Getting ourselves out of bed and on the road is both the process and the end goal.

How can we respect the process? Pay attention to the present, to the circumstances, to the daily benefits of the process we’ve chosen to reach our personal end goal. Embrace the choice you’ve made to begin and understand that in beginning, you’ve already met an important goal.

“If we have a further end in view, we do not pay sufficient attention to the immediate present: if we realize that obedience is the end, then each moment as it comes is precious.” ~ Oswald Chambers

I’m not a runner, but I am a walker. My phone is always with me to fill my ears with music and afford the opportunity to take photos of corn fields and wildflowers. My goal is to embrace — and respect — the process.

I spent five minutes (more or less) today reflecting on the one word prompt “respect” and I’m sharing this post along with other writers at Five Minute Friday.

 

 

 

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