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. Looking out the
windows, we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways,
of smoke pouring from 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 hills.
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
waving. Once 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 relentlessly 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
450 SL Mercedes Benz!” “When I put the last child 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. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad.
It is the regrets over yesterday and the fears 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, play
more golf, 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.
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