I would like to share a portion of my newsletter article I published for our congregation at SonRise Baptist Church in an effort to challenge you to find joy in the new year.
Michael Card is one of my favorite recording artists from years ago (he is actually still writing and recording), and he released a CD about twenty years ago entitled Joy in the Journey. It was actually a compilation of his greatest hits (El Shaddai, Celebrate the Child, etc.). The title of that CD has been on my mind lately as I prepare to start a new teaching series on January 11: Joy Ride. Most of us share a dreaded disease that has defeating consequences called Destination Disease. We spend our whole lives looking forward to destinations instead of realizing that life is lived in the journey. As a child, we anticipate the destination of first grade and then middle school, high school, and graduation. The destination of college, first jobs, marriage, and parenting becomes a consuming focus. We eventually focus on our empty nest and ultimately on heaven and eternity. We go out of town on vacation and can’t wait to get there, wherever “there” is. If we are not careful, we spend our whole lives looking forward to the end of a journey instead of realizing life is really more about journeys than destinations. Joy Ride is a teaching series about finding joy in the journey. God has made us for joy, yet many of us feel that we will find joy only after we “arrive.”
As you begin a new year of possibilities, blessings, struggle, and failure, it is my hope and prayer that you find joy in the journey. God has made us for joy, and He invites us to join Him for the ride of a lifetime.
When I first saw the announcement of “joy ride” during the Christmas eve service Michael Card’s Joy in the Journey was the first thing that popped into my head. I have that cassette tape around here some where. I’m going to find it and make the kids listen to it. Looking forward to the series.