Life is a journey. I’ve read those words in many posts and quotes. It’s true. However, I think it’s also important to understand that along the journey are many road trips. They break the journey down into mini adventures. We get to choose which trip we want to go on and plan how we’re going to get there. They could take years like going to college or they could take decades like building a career, raising children or marriage.
We believe that when we reach our expected destination, then that will be the time to celebrate because we made it. There’s a graduation, retirement, or maybe a silver anniversary. However, what happens if we lose our job along the way, the marriage fails, or whatever it is we envisioned just doesn’t turn out like we planned. I think most people view it as a failure. Some may see the entire road trip as a waste of time. But that’s where we’re incredibly wrong!
The only time we fail is when we don’t enjoy the trip we’re on whether we make it or not. Crossing the finish line is a moment in time. The joy should be the trip itself. That way whether we make it to our expected destination or reroute at least we traveled with happiness and learned important lessons along the way.
I had a young man come to my house to do some repairs. He was in his early thirties. He talked to me about how unhappy he was with his job. My heart hurt for him because he could go anywhere, do anything, and yet he chose to spend day after day doing a job he loathed. Since he was generally unhappy at work, I could tell it bled into his attitude and the way he viewed life in general. A nice man, an unhappy man. He could not see the beauty that surrounded him daily. His adventure was one of misery. The scary thing is, he could stay on his current road-trip for years with the destination of retirement. How much of a celebration could his retirement be if he’d spent years so unhappy?
This doesn’t mean that road trips are easy. There may be accidents, illness, detours or break downs that may lead us to question why we set out on the adventure in the first place. When we make it through those dark times, we come out stronger, more appreciative of the sunlight on our face as we ride with the windows down and music blaring.
This journey, this hundred plus years we get if we’re lucky, is not about the brief moments we celebrate. It’s about all the days in between when we’re becoming stronger, growing, understanding, and being able to feel the love that is present in each day.