“Life is about the journey, not the destination.” I have heard this statement, or others like it, many times throughout the course of my life. However, truly grasping the concept is another matter altogether. Posting that quote on Facebook, or making it our wallpaper on our laptop sounds lovely, but what does it really mean?
Recently, for me, it means “struggle” … It means “Oh, crap! That wasn’t supposed to happen!” It means… “Why do I feel like I’m floundering around and have no clue what I’m doing?!?”
But that’s the journey. That’s what it means to be “journeying.” Most of the time I don’t like it. Most of the time I feel like the finish line is much more appealing! It looks prettier in my mind. I’m smiling at the finish line. I’m not smiling so much when I’m running up hill or trekking through the mud. I’m not smiling so much when I get hit in the face with tree branches and my legs get scratched and scraped as I move through the brush. It hurts. I lose my breath. It’s not glamorous!
So, when people spout off … “It’s not about the destination, Jeanna, it’s about the journey!” with a grin on their face and that look in their eye that says “You should be enjoying this!” I want to smack them. However, smacking them will not change the reality. We can’t avoid the journey. Even if I decide to plop myself down on my couch and say “God, I’m not moving any further. This whole ‘journey’ thing is NOT for me!” … I’m still on the journey! I can’t escape it! You can’t escape it!
So, what do we do? How do we enjoy the journey when the journey is painful, and confusing, and rough, and there are highs and lows, and a lot of times the lows outnumber the highs!? How do you enjoy it? How do you see the good in ALL of it? ALL is the key word because there is beauty in all of it. It all works together for our good, so there must be good in every piece of the puzzle, in every brushstroke on the canvas, in every tile in the mosaic.
You wouldn’t be you, and I wouldn’t be me if pieces were missing. The beauty about the mosaic is that up close it looks like a mess, but when you step back… Oh, when you step back … that’s when it overwhelms you. That’s when you see what it was really meant to be. That’s when it hits you. That ugly little black tile … that was necessary. That jagged gray piece … that was required. Those bright shinny colorful segments … those were essential. It wouldn’t be the same without EVERY piece.
So, as I sit here today trying to embrace the journey, I’m challenging both you and myself to stop. Stop analyzing each piece. Stop trying to reshape or reshade or remove the tiles we don’t want or don’t like. They’re needed. They’re necessary. Without them you’re incomplete. Without them your life, your masterpiece, isn’t whole.
It’s a hard concept to grasp, and I think it requires daily reminders. So, maybe I will put that quote on my refrigerator or cell phone wallpaper … but I’m going to see it differently. Maybe it needs rephrasing. “My masterpiece is unfolding. I’m still in the studio. I’m not finished yet. Today is required, and every piece of it is a glorious element of who I’m becoming. Just wait until you step back and see my life in its entirety. It will take your breath away.”
I know my version is a bit longer than the original … but I like it. :) What does your version of the quote sound like? How will your view of “you” change today? Are you a lump of clay or a dazzling vase? Are you a heap of mangled metal or a stunning sculpture? Are you a pile of rough, random tiles or an awe-inspiring mosaic?
It’s up to you. It’s all in your perspective. See today differently. You won’t regret it.