Daniel and I love to tell people about how we are working towards becoming digital tentmakers. Their first question is almost always, “So what country are going to first?” The truth is that we don’t know. We usually just reply with a bunch of countries we would like to visit. Then we get a strange look implying, “Aren’t your actions a bit drastic if you don’t know where you are going?”
I understand their confusion. Traditional missionaries most often have a specific country and region they feel called to go. Daniel and I don’t feel called to a specific country. Where we want to go changes every week. I believe that there are some advantages to not knowing exactly where we are going.
Stephen Covey in the “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” says that you should begin with the end in mind. We do have a basic idea of the end, but it isn’t set in stone for us. I know that we have to start somewhere and be in motion if we want to get to the finish line.
Perhaps you are moving towards a goal or a dream, but don’t know how exactly will fall into place. Here are 4 advantages of not knowing your destination.
1. Ability to focus on the present
Holley Gerth says in her book, “You’re Made for a God-Sized Dream”:
Dreams can be seductive. They can make us trade our today for an unknown future. They can turn our thoughts away from what’s right in front of us.
There isn’t any need to worry about the end goal, because each day and step has enough worry of it’s own. Getting out of debt required laser focus on our budget and time. Then selling our home requires tons of energy for home repairs and house showings. Adding planning a trip on top of what we are already doing would be too much for us. It has been nice to be able to completely focus on each step.
2. Gaining contentment
If Daniel and I knew that we were going to be spending 3 months in Belgium in a few months, then we would be sad that we were still in Texas. We would be anxious for that trip to happen. Not knowing what our first awesome travel destination will be helps me be content in 100 degree weather in September in Texas. I am not wishing I was somewhere else right now. It’s a lot easier to be content in each step when the end is a bit nebulous.
I know I will love it when we have our house sold, an emergency fund in the bank, then a pile of money ready to spent on a trip. Once we have the cash on hand then we are free to choose. Without a specific destination in mind we are available to go where we feel called. I believe God is lining up everything for us as we keep progressing through each step. Hopefully, we will have a clearer picture as our availability to travel moves closer.
4. Ability to focus globally
Some may argue and say, “Without knowing your destination you can’t plan and prepare!” If I knew that we were going to France then I would be educating the kids about the country. We would all be learning phrases in French. Right now we are able to focus globally instead of one specific country. Daniel met a missionary from Tanzania. We are learning about missionaries in Thailand and France. We want to learn more about injustice and how best to serve others. It’s fun to consider many countries an option and learn about each one.
We are currently selling our home and lowering our living expenses so we can travel. Travel may seem like a nebulous term to some. To us we hope it will become a way of life.
How would plan for a trip if you didn’t know where you were going? Have you ever followed a dream that required to only focus one step at a time?