Enjoying the Process, Not Just the End Result

process of journeying homeAs a teenager and young adult, I used to thrive on process. Sure, I wanted to complete a task, but I soaked in the steps along the way as well.

For example, there was much joy to be had in, not only knowing the haymow was full of hay, but in the process of working together to fill it.

I felt satisfaction as I gazed upon the full-grown heifers I had affectionately tended to, but more appreciated caring for them as they grew from just-weaned calves.

A trail cleared of poison ivy, nettles, and poison parsnip looked inviting, but whipping them down with a hand weed-whip brought more pleasure.

Somewhere along the line, though, my attitude changed. Life became extremely busy. Endings took on meanings of their own.

I no longer took the time to appreciate the process of going somewhere or accomplishing something.

It became all about “getting” there.

While raising my children, I tended to get excited for the next stage in their development, instead of resting where they were. I tried not to hurry their childhood along, but something inside burned for that accomplishment.

Learn to Appreciate the Journey

Surprisingly, it took several years of vacationing to help me redevelop an appreciation of the journey itself.

Our vacations almost always consist of long drives. This means a considerable amount of time  spent in the process of getting to or from the destination.

For a few years, I’d come home from family trips dissatisfied and surly because so much time involved the journey, not the destination itself.

Finally, one year I woke up to the fact that I was squandering my life by only focusing on an end.

I decided to re-embrace my younger self’s attitude of loving the “doing,” not just the “done.” This resurrected attitude has allowed me to appreciate life to a much greater extent.

To get the most out of life, embrace the 'doing,' not just the 'done,' enjoy the journey, not simply the destination. Click To Tweet

In the past week, I traveled more than 1,800 miles by car. And the trips weren’t exactly leisurely, sightseeing excursions. They had a purpose in delivering my son to college safely and in a timely manner (and to participate in the send-off ceremonies).

I could have easily chalked up the nearly 40 hours I spent in the vehicle as a waste. Sadly, many do just that (as I had at one time). Instead, I used the time to connect with my children to various degrees, work on other projects, laugh, and spend time in the Word.

It’s not a perfect science, and I catch myself longing for an end at times. Yet, I only need to look at my grown son to be reminded of the importance of enjoying each journey.

Whether it’s a long drive or raising children, don’t concentrate your sights on the finish line only. Instead, cultivate the habit of enjoying the journey.

Because there are treasures to unearth during the process itself.

Don't concentrate your sights on the finish line only. Instead, cultivate the habit of enjoying the journey. The process matters. Click To Tweet

Treasures that are often masked by the hurricane speed we live our lives and our drive for accomplishment.

“It is also the gift of God whenever anyone eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts” (Ecclesiastes 3:13).

Reflections: Do you find yourself getting anxious about reaching the end of a trip or activity? Would you prefer to skip the middle and jump straight to the end? Do you feel a need to restructure your attitude to more fully appreciate the process, not just the end?

Linking with A Holy Experience for

By His grace ≈

Julie

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Find hope in your real-life struggles. We'll chase it together! I am a wife; mom of 4 (including a young adult daughter with special needs); miscarriage mom of 5; author & follower of Jesus Christ. I write, edit, speak and enjoy everything outdoors.

4 comments on “Enjoying the Process, Not Just the End Result
  1. Monica says:

    Yes, this is so true! I had a pastor tell me once that the journey is as much the call as the call itself, and I try so hard to apply this to everything. Even the trials and tribulations of potty-training. 🙂

    • juliesunne says:

      Oh, the joys of potty training, Monica! I’ve been at it for 16 years, and will continue indefinitely with my daughter who is 14 and has significant special needs. Some days I have to remind myself that there are gifts in even the most menial, mundane, never-ending tasks such as that. So glad you popped in! Blessings.

  2. jillberan says:

    This is so good and true Julie! It’s been one of those days at our house…non-stop chaos sums it quite nicely! Twice God has reminded me it won’t last forever…will work to enjoy the moment more tomorrow!! THanks for sharing once again it’s blessed me!!

    • juliesunne says:

      So grateful God uses my words to encourage you, Jill! In the midst of those days it is so difficult to remember to enjoy the process. We tend to look to the end–and miss the beauty of the mess.

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  1. […] the constant demands of the day. To gain new perspective. To tackle my work refreshed. To enjoy the process. When I go back to my tasks, it is with renewed […]

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