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
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 will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags
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 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
one 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 hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in
isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over
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.
--Robert J. Hastings