(The goal of this post is to explain how I’ll be handling Journeys. Like weekly updates, quarterly course corrections,
What are Journeys?
The Goal of taking Journeys is to expose the wounds and agreements that act as constraints in our ability to behold the Glory and Abundance of God, be transformed by it, and share it with the world.
It might seem like skill building or goal setting, but it’s not. Like learning to ride a bike: you learn balance, yes, but mainly you learn how not to fall down. In the process, you fall down a few times and learn not to fear falling down. (What Randy Pausch called, head fake learning.)
What Journeys Do
Biblically speaking, there are four streams that flow from the Throne of God out through the saints–Healing, Counseling, Spiritual Warfare, and Walking with God. John Eldredge speaks about it in more detail, but in short:
- Healing – God’s love restores a heart wound to its pre-damaged state
- Counseling – Provides an understanding of a would or false identity
- Spiritual Warfare – Battles for freedom from bondage to demonic thinking
- Walking w/ God – daily interaction w/ God (clarifies our adventure, or our Identity & Relationship w/ God)
Seasonality of Journeys
We can easily divide the year into quarters (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th), but Spring, Winter, Summer, and Fall have a lot of blurry lines. Spiritual seasons work like natural seasons–off-kilter and changing a little every year. So journeys really start when they start and end when they end.
However, if you try to take on a challenge thinking, “It’s okay to pull a Crazy Ivan and change to whatever’s next whenever I feel like it,” then you’re doomed to play whack-a-mole instead of drawing the deep lessons God desires to provide.
So I’ve decided that even though it is okay to follow the Wild Goose and make dynamic course changes, I’m going to push through to a preset goal line the best I can. What that looks like is that a journey is either completed or I don’t give up on it until the start of the next quarter. It’s been said that we don’t have a lack of time, only a lack of priorities.
Most of us hang onto a list of things we ought to be working on but never seem to get to. It’s a form of ‘To Do List’ passive selection, where we never have to do the work of painful deck clearing we can just never get to some projects. But what happens when the things we never get to are important to our hearts, or to our physical reality? (e.g. dating your wife or losing belly fat, etc.)
To some extent its okay to allow a healthy level of ‘decision by procrastination.’ Americans are blessed with so many “good” things to do that we can live for years before we get to the “GREAT” things that would bring us satisfaction, character, health & wealth. In fact, if you are only biting off what you know you can chew how will you increase capacity or leave room for God to perform miracles.
So I choose to engage in the process of prioritizing, knowing that some journeys may be put off until it’s bucket list time. But journeys are actually a reverse process to goal setting, so we’ll get into that in the next section.
The point here is to pick a journey, or complementary set of journeys, for three months at a time, and don’t entertain a serious course change until that three month period is over.
Journey’s vs Goal Setting
“Human thinking looks is drawn to the negative!” – Mike Galeotti
Consider this: how much time on the evening news is spent on happy things that went well?
We look at our lives, and without spending much time at all on what we truly wish it looked like we highlight the things that aren’t right and make a list of things that must change for us to be happy.
We spend almost no time at all being grateful for what we have or what might have gone wrong and didn’t. We enter God’s gates with thanksgiving (Psalms 100:4). What if the key to abiding in God’s presence is focusing on gratitude.
Think about it. There’s no negativity in God. Therefore, any place you are experiencing fear, shame, anxiety, self-doubt, anger, hatred, etc. is a place you tolerate a void in your experience of His presence.
Like a mossy rock in a stream parting the flow of abundance around it. If anything is missing that’s what is causing it–not the lack of resources (time, money, energy, know-how, support, etc.)
So, instead of making goals to fix a problem we’ve noticed, we need a journey to eliminate the constraint. This can mean tackling a place that you’ve failed, but it’s inherently relational. It focuses on something good, which we can be grateful about–even if that’s just the promise that God will come through in that place!
It can be a daunting plan to write down what/why/how etc. for a journey. Still, journaling is powerful because of the warfare that springs up during this process. Recording “what the hell you were thinking” when you took on this crazy thing, will help you reveal and cling to the promise of God that inspired it.
So hopefully you’ll find journey plans for each of the journey’s God and I are currently taking on. Ideally, I will identify:
- What I’m hoping God will do (heal/counsel/war/walk) with me
- The steps I think we’ll take toward it
- Any resources I’m leaning on God to help with
- Specific places I predict challenge (prayer requests)
Current Journeys Page & Weekly Journey Updates
I’m posting all my current journey’s to this page on my blog (because God has healed my fear of public humiliation). So I have a single snapshot of the season with links out to all the specific plans for each journey.
I’m also doing a collective update of all the journeys weekly, instead of updating each journey individually on each Journey Plan Post. This was a gut-level, judgment call, hoping that it would be easier to follow along and less time consuming to write. We’ll see if I’m right soon.
So weekly updates will include the status of journeys past and upcoming journeys.
Final Disambiguation: Journeys, Rebounds, and Walking with God
(I love the word disambiguation. It just means to clarify a place of confusion.)
Walking with God is a Spiritual stream from God through us. It combines the other three streams into a way of living out your Adventure.
You might see me take on a journey with the Goal of walking with God. How can I take a focused journey into a daily walk? I could be meaning one of two things:
- I’m taking a journey to get clarity of my Adventure.
- I’m taking on a rebound to create a positive habit.
We’ll take on a number of adventures in our lives, but your Adventure (capital A) is the unique way you reflect the glory of God into the world around you. It’s often referred to as your calling, or your purpose, or life mission. Your roles (father/husband etc.) and your assignment (pastor/banker etc.) will change over time but your Adventure will stay.
A rebound is a type of Journey which can only be achieved through focused iteration–like a gratitude journal, or new diet. These are some of the most challenging types of journeys to take on. Let’s say God creates a miracle three-day weekend alone in the mountains. You could suddenly make great strides on that book you need to write with God, but you are only going to eat 9 meals and go to bed 3 times.
I’ll soon review a book that I know speaks to positive habit forming that I believe will end up being a terrific resource for rebounds. I’ll post a link to it here…one day soon.