Learning To Enjoy The Process

May 30, 2013

Enjoy the process.

This is probably the single most difficult piece of advice for me to follow.

I hear it all the time, but I rarely live it out.

I am so results-driven that it often leads me to be impatient. I want the mission accomplished yesterday. I want the finished product. I want it done. I need it done. The uncertainty of the middle of the process kills me. I’ve written about this topic before—about how we constantly want something more and are not content with what we have. I know I’m not alone in struggling with this.

My tendency towards discontent is most likely a sign of my desire to control my whole life; my need to be in charge of every little detail. It is natural to want to manage my life so that it goes the way I want it to. But it isn’t healthy or godly.

Discontentment is destructive.

I don’t know about you, but I get in funks. Emotional, relational, mental and spiritual funks. Confused, with a bleak outlook on life, filled with thoughts of myself.

Don’t get me wrong—I am richly blessed. I know I don’t deserve any of the gifts or opportunities I have. But sometimes the fact that I didn’t earn them saddens me. It crushes my pride. I know the real answer… I know I owe all the good things in my life to God’s grace… I know life is about much more than myself… And I know pride leads to despair because I am seeking to glorify myself, and this is a vain pursuit…

But contentment is a daily battle. Fortunately, it’s a battle that’s already been won!

As Paul says, “By the grace of God, I am what I am.” (1 Corinthians 15:10) All the things that now define me—businessman, writer, husband, father, friend—are things God gave me. I didn’t earn them. When I recognize I couldn’t have earned them even if I tried, then the fact that God gifted them to me can be relieving rather than discouraging. It is all Jesus.

Echoing Paul’s words also help me rise to the challenge and make the most out of the opportunities in front of me–not because I am great, but because I know God has placed them there and strengthens me to do his work.

Because I am what I am by the grace of God, I will be what I will be by the grace of God.

I can enjoy the process because God controls the process—not me. Humility and faith in someone bigger than me are critical to contentment.

I am blessed to be a blessing. Given grace so that I may give grace. Entrusted with a mission to steward—whether that mission is for your life, family, ministry, or business. 

This “I am what I am” attitude offers both comforting and challenging insights.

I am what I am – so be faithful.
I am what I am – by God’s grace, and not my own work.
I am what I am – be content.
I am what I am – time to get to work.
I am what I am I will be who Jesus makes me.

The next time you bristle when someone tells you to enjoy the process, use it as an opportunity to recognize where you may be discontent. Our lives are always in process, we might as well enjoy it.