Updated: Aug 14, 2021
Do two walk together,
unless they have agreed to meet?
Amos 3:3 (ESV)
As summertime draws to a close, I remember my childhood summers and the long trips I took with my family. As parents can attest, there are only so many songs you can sing and so many times you can play travel games on the road before the kids start to ask, “Are we there yet?”
The only question children use more often during long drives is, “How much longer?”
Each of these questions presumes you know where you are going. The only reason for the journey is the destination.
Finding Joy in the Journey
On the other hand, some are happy to enjoy the ride with no apparant destination. For my son and his family, a Saturday evening Jeep ride is therapeutic. They need not know where they are going. The time of simply being together and experiencing their trip through the beautiful Upstate of South Carolina together is their purpose and destination.
So, we may not only find joy in the journey, but we can also travel on knowing it will be worth it when we reach our destination.
But are you enjoying the ride? Is there joy in your journey?
Parts of every journey may be beautiful and other parts dark and difficult. I well recall how as a young child, I rode with my mother on the Atlantic Coast Line’s Silver Meteor from Jacksonville, Florida to Columbia, South Carolina. We were making the long trip to visit her parents and siblings.
Since it was my first train ride, I was excited and fascinated by everything I saw. There were beautiful views of forests and lakes along the way. But there were also, as what I called, “muddly” water and telephone lines. It is not likely a travel agent would want these images in their brochures.
Even so, everyone's journey is unique in its own way. No journey is enjoyable all the time. Some people’s journey is bumpy with little to enjoy.
Still, many who travel rough roads through life can be some of the most gracious people you would ever meet. Could it be that their good attitude is a result of knowing their destination and having confidence they will reach their purpose in life?
I think so.
Having a worthy purpose for our journey
While we all want to experience joy in our journeys, it becomes much more difficult if we don’t see a purpose for the journey. Wearily traveling through a dreary world is tough, but knowing you are on your way to a refreshing destination can make the whole trip worthwhile.
But without a purpose, without a refreshing destination, the journey becomes meaningless. The bright spots are fleeting and there is little hope in the dark places.
Traveling the journey together
Should we stay or should we go?
Families traveling together on vacation will face challenges even under the best conditions with the nicest destinations. But if the family lacks harmony and cannot agree on the best route to the resort or even which resort to stay, it may be best to have a stay-cation.
Church families also face challenges under the best conditions. Beautiful buildings, wonderful music, the finest activities, and an eloquent preacher do not guarantee joy in the journey. Should there be strong differing opinions among members on the purpose and mission of the church, conflict may distract and divide a church that appeared to be a model church from the outside.
Is your church unified around a common destination and purpose?
Is your church unified around the best way to arrive at the destination and achieve the purpose?
Is the destination, the purpose, worthy of Christ's Church?
Unless the members of your church are following Christ’s journey and His simple purpose for His Church, your church will never know true biblical fellowship and unity.
A church that does not intentionally follow Christ's plans and purpose will either flounder in irrelevancy or fulfill a purpose, however noble, that is less than the Lord intended.
Your church could be perfectly united around a lofty purpose, but unless it is Christ’s purpose, your church will reach its destination and discover it was a wasted journey.
I can hear the beautiful voice of Diana Ross asking four questions:
Do you know where you're going to? Do you like the things that life is showin' you? Where are you going to? Do you know? 
If we don't know our destination, how will we know if we've arrived?
It is essential that we have unity around a destination, a purpose, to our journey. Next time, we'll continue to sharpen our focus so we can follow Christ together!
 Gerry Goffin and Michael Masser, "Do You Know Where You're Going To?" (Theme from "Mahogany") lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC.