There’s fitness goals, weight goals, career goals, personal goals and spiritual goals. Outcomes, data and targets drive our lifestyle.
But they don’t lead to savouring. They produce stress.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “Life is a journey, not a destination.” But in the world today, many have forgotten his advice. Including me.
The Great Ocean Road culminates in the Twelve Apostles, a collection of eight limestone stacks off the shore of Port Campbell. They are pounded the by crashing waves and swirling currents of the Southern Ocean each day. Yet they remain. And we found them breathtaking.
Now you can drive straight there. You can miss Bells and Lorne and Angelsea and reach the Twelve Apostles in less than three hours. But we didn’t do that. We took the scenic route. The slower course with Sunday drivers and winding paths; frequent towns and pinheaded bends.
And here is what I think: the drive along the Great Ocean Road made the Twelve Apostles incredible. Without the journey we wouldn’t have felt invigorated despite the brisk, cold wind; the bright sunlight wouldn’t have made us smile so wide; and the happy snaps would not have been so spontaneous. We got where we wanted to go and it felt amazing not because we got there, but because of the journey.
Destinations aren’t wrong, milestones to keep life on track, but reaching milestones is more worthwhile when the journey is the focus.
Ecclesiastes 9:11 I turned and witnessed something else under the sun: the race does not always go to the swift, the battle is not always won by the strong, bread does not always fill the table of the wise, wealth does not always accrue to the skillful, and favor is not always granted to the knowledgeable; but time and misfortune happen to them all.
In the midst of the swift, strong, wise, skilful and knowledgeable there is time. Time happens to us all. If you choose, you can enjoy the time along the way. Because you will get there. We all get there. How you appreciate the time makes a difference.
As for me, I have decided to get out of the race and let time happen. To savour every single moment of my life. To ditch the list and get there when we get there. From now on, I’m not living the dream, I’m living the journey.