November 23, 2015
We are a culture built on manifest destiny. Cross the ocean. Go west, past the Mississippi, over the Rockies, to the coast of California. Once there, we take to the sky, the oceans, and outer space. We reach the moon, and then set our sights on Mars.
On an individual level, this culture provides constantly-moving goal posts. Finish high school. Get into college. Graduate. Get a job. Get married. Buy a house. Get a promotion. Always be on the move to the next thing.
Movement, progress, and evolution are good things. It is healthy to be motivated to grow. Yet when we can spend so much time focusing on the specific accomplishments we have in life, and hitting specific goals, we do not value the journey we are on.
Where we end up in life is not nearly as important as the road we took to get there. The time and location of someone’s passing away is one finite experience; it happens in a moment. Yet to consider that time and place as the only things that define that person is completely disrespectful to the life that they led. It is the journey of their life that is important. That is what leaves a lasting impact.
We must move forward in life – there is always more we can learn, more ways we can grow, more things to experience. Yet if we are always focused on the next milestone to reach, we do not appreciate our current position or the path we are taking. Without our movement along these paths, the milestones cannot happen.
Milestones are moments in life. They are important, yet brief. We spend far more time living our lives, on our journeys, than we do at those milestones.
In this season of giving thanks, take some time to consider your current position on your journey. As we appreciate where we are and can offer gratitude for the current state of our lives – at a culturally-defined milestone or not – we pave the path to make every day enjoyable.