Slow Down and Respect the Process

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.





  1. Carol

    The process–this applies to so many aspects of life. I learned to appreciate the sights, sounds and stops along the way when traveling. I think that this can also apply to family life.
    I’m your neighbor at FMF.

    • Ingrid Lochamire

      You are so right, Carol. Time is fleeting. I wish I’d learned this lesson when my kids were all around me!

  2. Sharon Hazel

    Such a good reflection – sometimes the result that we are aiming for is not the result that God is looking for – He is all about the process, what He is working in us! Respect the process – thank you.

    • Ingrid Lochamire

      Amen! His goal is to refine us. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Annette

    i don’t run either! But walking or cycling is totally my gig. I too have learned to respect the process of this slower way to get from point a to b. I like your broader perspective. Visiting from FMF19

    • Ingrid Lochamire

      Hello, Annette! I’m learning the joy of the journey. I think we’re all appreciating it more during this strange season.

  4. Tara

    So good! Reminds me of how in seminary they told us to trust the process. Often so much easier said than fine. But worth it in the end!

    • Ingrid Lochamire

      Hi, Tara! Good advice in so many ways. Often we miss the lessons learned along the way.

  5. Amie

    I think learning to respect the process also helps us to respect those who have not come as far as we have. “Ah, I remember when I struggled with that too” we might say to ourselves. Good thoughts.

    • Ingrid Lochamire

      That’s a great perspective, Amie! Thanks for stopping by.

  6. Andrew Budek-Schmeisser

    Yeah, the process is the goal,
    the path is your destination;
    know this now, and save your soul
    lots of anger and frustration.
    You were meant for aching feet
    on a long and dusty road,
    and you were thereby meant to meet
    those you could help with their load,
    for you’ve had, yourself, assistance,
    though you think you walk alone,
    and for this stubborn mad persistence
    you must repent, and must atone,
    for this journey’s salient good
    lies in defining brotherhood.

    • Ingrid Lochamire

      Great poetic response, Andrew! Thanks for dropping by.

  7. Wendy Elzinga

    I love this perspective. It reminds my of long family road trips, where much was learned about eachother, and memories were made along the way in a long car ride, even in the inevitable traffic jams and restlessness, the changing landscape along our jouney was just as exciting as what we found at our destination. looking back the journey was just as momentous as the destination.

  8. Sandra K Stein

    This is so good. Thanks for sharing.

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