Which did indeed come first – the chicken or the egg? Likewise, which is more important – the journey or the destination? I once told an acquaintance of mine that I felt that it was not necessarily the destination, but the importance of the journey. He countered that the destination is everything. “Road trips” won’t lead you to the ultimate destination. In his context, his overall view of a spiritual life, he was right because his belief is based upon the concept of salvation and the destination sought , namely eternal life with his Creator.
But what of the journey?
I have set my itinerary in stone. Nothing will impede my travel. I will depart Point A at a precisely set time in order to arrive at Point B no later than my schedule allows.
My mode of transportation is a finely tuned, highly expensive, top of the line, gas guzzling auto. Nothing is too good for me. It is equipped with the latest computerized navigation system to keep me on track and more importantly on schedule. The finest audio system that money can buy sits in the dashboard to entertain me while on the road. My cell phone is cradled near to conduct important or not so important business transactions.
Along the way my eyes are fixed straight ahead never wandering. Never stopping to take in the offerings of cities so rich in history. Oblivious to the beauty of the streams, lakes and rivers I pass along the way. Ignoring the trees of the forests lining the sides of the roadway. The majestic eagle soaring overhead is not within my sight. Snow capped mountains are only obstacles in my path causing me to lose valuable time and petrol as I climb over them. I am only consumed with one thought and one thought only -arrival at Point B on time.
The music, news, stock market reports and my phone cause me to miss the alarms screaming at me. Crossing the desert, I notice that fuel is low and the engine temperature is rising. Panic evolves and my stomach lurches as if I were on the downhill ride of a roller coaster. Not an oasis in sight and the navigational toy gives me a blank stare. I have heard that this is the time people in despair turn to God with prayers. It is imperative that I reach Point B so I ask the Lord for a little help. I’ll change my ways.
Suddenly, miraculously the desert ends and an intersection looms before me. A small gas station and diner sit on one corner. Tears in my eyes I thank the Lord and swear to make good my promise. I eat a substandard meal and fill my gas tank. I am appalled by the price I am charged .Two young men with back packs approach looking for a handout. I wave them off thinking that the bums should find gainful employment. I hurry back onto the road for the final leg of my trip.
My navigational system is once again functioning as intended. If I up my speed a bit, I should make my destination with an hour to spare. My cell phone beckons me back to work. More money to make. I move closer to my goal. The road sign tells me that my exit is near. More calls. What did that sign say? The voice comes from my little course plotting friend, “Turn here.”
As I turn, I find that it is too late to stop. Wooden barricades stretch across the road with a large sign attached: ROAD CLOSED.
As I crashed through the barrier and my finely tuned, highly expensive, top of the line, gas guzzling auto became airborne, I had one final thought. I made it on time.