My brother posted a nice piece of writing on Facebook which I am going to audaciously steal and post here in full without his permission. (And if you don’t like it, Bro, then, by all means, speak up! Notice the “Comments” section below. Or better yet, start a blog and publish your stuff yourself!)
So, here it is . . .
Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the Continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.
But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering – waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
“When we reach the station, that will be it!” We cry. “When I’m 18.” “When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes Benz!” “When I put the last kid through college.” “When I have paid off the mortgage!” “When I get a promotion.” “When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after!”
Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the Trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.
“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: “This is the day which the Lord had made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.
So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along.
The station will come soon enough.
Nice, isn’t it? The idea of life as a journey was the inspiration for the name of my blog. (And the little asterisk is not just a notation, it’s a shout out to all my fellow Trekkies, my brother being one of them.)
But his story also made me realize something for the first time. I had never thought about the irony in the idea of “life’s journey” before. A journey that begins with the arrival and ends with the departure.
No wonder we all spend a lot of it fighting against the passage of time and hoping there’s a heaven.