We live in a diverse world. There are things that separate us from each other: race, language, culture, skin color, beliefs, philosophies, ideas, preferences. But one thing that we all have in common is that each of us is on a journey. For some the journey is long; for others it will be all too short.
We had gone out to enjoy a relaxing Sunday lunch. The restaurant was busy and crowded with people searching for places to sit. As we ate I couldn’t help noticing the people – I’m a people watcher. At the next table sat three generations of women obviously enjoying each other’s company – a grandmother, a mother and what appeared to be a seven or eight month old little girl. She was filled with life. Everything was new and wondrous. Squeals of delight could be heard as she discovered some new and mysterious thing. She has just begun her journey. Where will it take her? What will she encounter? How will it change her? So many questions to be answered.
A little farther away an elderly man sat with his family, two sons and their wives, but no one just for him. There was an obvious emptiness. I wondered how long he had been alone. His hands shook as he slowly and almost painstakingly raised his food to his mouth. I noticed that he seldom entered into the table conversation. When he did there was hesitation in his words as if he no longer processed information as quickly as he once had. He seemed unsure and perhaps slightly confused. When it was time to leave his son lovely and carefully helped him with his coat, making sure he was protected against the cold that waited just outside the door. He too was on a journey, but nearer his destination. I wondered where he had been; what he had seen. Questions already answered.
Two strangers on their respective journeys, one just beginning, one near the end. The thing about journeys is that we don’t know how long they will last nor where they will take us. Most journeys have twists and turns that were never expected.
It’s often said that a trip is not about the destination, it’s about the journey. How you get to where you’re going. Yes and no. In life it’s about both the journey and the destination. In fact the destination is determined by what happens on the journey.
Several thoughts come to mind. The first is that this is the time of year when we are reminded of the ultimate journey – the coming of Christ from heaven to earth. What a journey! A journey that changed the course of the world and the lives of millions of people. It’s a journey worth talking about.
The second is more personal – it’s your journey. You may be closer to the beginning of your journey than the end – although none of us really know where we are in our journey. Perhaps you are on the other end of your journey, there’s more behind you than yet to be discovered. Where you are on your journey really isn’t important, it’s what you are doing with your journey that matters. Let me borrow from the thoughts of the Apostle Paul: I have finished my journey, I have kept the faith (2 Timothy 4:7). No matter where you are on your journey, no matter how long or how little you have left, it’s about finishing your journey well. It’s about a journey that is lived by faith. When lived by faith the journey is worth the effort. It’s worth every sacrifice (Hebrews 12:1-2).
It’s important, finally, to remember that it’s not just about your journey. On your journey you will intersect many others who are on their journey and how you live will have a profound influence on where their journey takes them. Live well. Live by faith (Galatians 2:20).
Stay in the Word