It has been said that life is a journey, I’m just curious where’s it headed?
Regardless if your life’s travels will take you around the world or just across town, the journey of emotions and growth along the way is something you need to be intentional about. With social media allowing us to connect to each other in a number of different ways, it is clear to me that many of us don’t know where our journeys are taking us. Like Forrest Gump, too many of us are just running!
Now, don’t get me wrong, I love Forrest! I just think we need to be more intentional about where our journey is headed. I’ve met too many people who don’t know where they are headed in life and can’t seem to break out. They lack a sense of purpose in their living.
More than a decade ago, Rick Warren released the book The Purpose Driven Life. If you’ve not read it, maybe you should pick it up. It’s still a great read. There are many other resources out there to help you determine you life’s purpose. Rick’s book is just one you can start with.
In addition to knowing where you are headed, there are 3 key relationships critical to your life journey. These relationships will help you or hurt you in your efforts to achieve your desired goals.
Key Relationship 1: The person you are sleeping with
I probably should be more specific, this key relationship is really the person you are having sex with. Sex is an amazing experience. It serves as an outlet for our emotions as well as a bonding experience for the couple. It rages within us and can be extremely productive or destructive. Sex is like fire. The intimacy of sex is just one of the reasons why we should be aware of how it affects our life journey.
The person you are sleeping with has the ability to influence you. He or she impacts your sense of self worth. The person you are sleeping with is a key voice in your dreams and aspirations.
I love what the poet writes:
“Promise me…not to awaken love until the time is right.”
(Song of Songs 2:7 and 3:5).
The person you are sleeping with will carry an incredible influence in your life. Choose wisely and keep that relationship sacred. Like fire, it can warm you or burn.
Key Relationship 2: The people you are running with
There is an African proverb that goes something like this:
“If you want to run fast, go alone. If you want to run far, go with friends.”
I’ll admit, I’m not much of a runner. When I do run, I’m tempted to run fast versus run far. I guess it’s the side of me that just wants to get it over with. How about you?
I see running relating to our friendships because our friends are key encouragers for our journey. If you hang with those who are slow to move, your journey may go slow. If you run with those moving fast, you may feel overwhelmed. Finding the right peer group is critical.
In your peer group, you’ll need some who are ahead of you. It will also be important that you have some that are slower than you. Those ahead of you will challenge you to keep going. Those slower than you will remind you to help others.
It will also be important to have those like you in your peer group. I don’t mean these folks need to look like you. Folks like you are those at the same pace, who share the same desires.
If we hope to move ahead in life’s journey, who we run with will influence our efforts.
Key Relationship 3: The community you commit to
In the United States, we see life from a very individual perspective. We tend to think that we are “self made” and we can do whatever “so long as it doesn’t hurt someone else.” Can I just say, that’s nonsense! Our individual actions carry forth implications onto others.
You may want to argue with me on this, but think about it for just a moment. What you are doing right now may not immediately impact someone else, but it is laying the foundation for effecting someone down the line. There are many solo activities that we can engage in, but each of them will influence something in us that will influence the relationships around us.
Here’s an example: I might choose to drink water with lime at the restaurant instead of a soda. This choice is made out of financial and/or health reasons. While eating with others, someone observes my drink selection and chooses to do the same. I made the choice on my own sometime ago, but now it is influencing someone else.
Each of us has an affinity for certain groups and communities. I have a friend who likes to ride Harleys so, he is in a Harley Biker club. Some of my friends like trying different types of beers, so they have their community of taste testing. Some like to sing and play music. Some… you get the point. The community around us allows us to explore and discover new aspects of the journey.
Yet, the community we surround ourselves with has a limited influence on our lives. Community can only influence us to the degree to which we’ve committed to it.
Think about that die hard sports fan in your life. They’re committed to the community. They attend the game or watch it on TV faithfully. They spend money to be identified with team. They may even go so far as to use the language “we won/lose.” They are a part of the community even if they’re not a part of the team.
The community we commit to shapes our lifestyle. Choose carefully.
Each of us is influenced by others in our life’s journey. The people we allow into our lives will help us experience life in rich and full ways, but they can also cause chaos and heartache for us. We should be very aware of those we allow into our lives, especially as it relates to the community we commit to, the friends we run with, and the person we are sleeping with. We don’t go through life on our own.