“Life is about the JOURNEY, not the destination.” I consider this quote one of my favorite expressions which continually renews the way I look at life. Whenever I’m with someone who is planning a wedding or a great vacation, I always remind them to enjoy everything leading up to the big event because it’s all over so quickly. People today spend countless hours and dollars planning for that special day, but then they are too busy or tired to enjoy it. I love to look at old photos of fun times, but I also warn people about trying to capture too many moments with the phone, you may be missing the opportunity for adventure or special moments that you can’t rewind. Laugh about the stressors and mishaps for someday they’ll be great stories to tell the grandchildren or reminders for yourself before you put your head down to sleep.
I often remember people that I’ve met on my JOURNEY and I acknowledge that whether it was for a moment or a season, a blessing or a lesson; those who’ve crossed my path have touched my life and added a bit to who I am today. One friend was especially attentive to enjoy the JOURNEY and life’s offerings. “Why stress about where it’s going tomorrow if it’s wonderful now?” Over the years, I’ve come to understand the importance and adapt that philosophy to my life and my JOURNEY.
To give proper credit, I went searching for the author of the quote that has become such a part of our everyday language (and of course memes). I found that Ralph Waldo Emerson is often credited with “Life is a journey, not a destination” but in fact, several ministers and Bible teachers of the time used similar language in journals or teachings. https://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/08/31/life-journey/
It makes sense to me that such a quote would also have religious connotations. I’m glad some preachers and teachers have tried to redirect their communities. If you’ve read my previous blog posts, you may have guessed that my JOURNEY has been via a road with twists and turns. For part of my life, I was teaching that the most important thing in life was the final destination on the other side of those Pearly Gates. For that, I’ve apologized.
Somewhere along the way, I stopped to take a break and look around me. I noticed that some people were too focused getting to the Promised Land, the mansions, walking on the Streets of Gold that they lost the purpose of their JOURNEY and forgot the words of Jesus Christ. “For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me in. I needed clothes, and you clothed me. I was sick, and you looked after me. I was in prison, and you came to visit me.” … ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’Matthew 25:35-40.
After a while, I took up my satchel and changed direction – same JOURNEY, different route. Rather than waiting to see all the wonders “over yonder,” I’ve decided to enjoy JOURNEY, and make the most of the blessings in my simple life.