Driving down the road at night, we can only see about 100 feet ahead of us. Yet, we calmly and comfortably drive at high speeds down the roads, confident that we will arrive at our destination.
Yet, when we drive down the road of life, we constantly try to squint and strain to see what is a hundred or a thousand feet ahead. We ignore what is right in front of us, which is what matters most in each moment. We want to know what is around the bend before we get there. We want to see the future, we try to plan for it, even though we have never been down this road before and have no idea what lies ahead.
Sometimes we listen to others – the elderly, the wise – people who have gone much further down the road. Occasionally their wisdom arrives when we are ready for it and we have a realization, or a sense of calm. Yet, we soon return to sticking our heads out the window, struggling to get a glimpse of the distant horizon.
Imagine living life as if you were driving at night. Imagine if we simply just cozied into our seats, rested our eyes lazily on where we are right now and had faith that we would arrive at our destination, while doing the best we could along the way to move towards our goal. How would life be different?
Life would be much more peaceful and enjoyable. But, most significantly, we wouldn’t need to be afraid. We wouldn’t be constantly trying to anticipate and predict the unknown. We would have faith that the road ahead would be paved smoothly and, if there were any pot holes or speed bumps along the way, we’d deal with them as they came.
Yet, what about the destination? When we drive somewhere, we know clearly where we are headed. We know the goal. But, in life, what if we don’t know where we’re going?
Well, then it seems as if we would be a driver without a map, a ship without a rudder. We would drift and float aimlessly, which perhaps might also be ok. However, since we are going to end up somewhere, why not pick and choose the destination we prefer? And, how can we do that? How can we know where we want to end up in life?
Well, for me, I would simply decide how I wanted to be at the end of my life, how I wanted to feel as I reflected back on my years. My destination would be one of peace, calmness and gratitude. I want to be grateful that I even got this gift of life in the first place. As strange and confusing as life is, it’s still some pretty amazing stuff and full of things to just sit in awe of. I would want to simply smile in thanks as I looked back on life.
So, now that I know my destination, maybe I should just sit back, enjoy the ride and have faith that I will get to where I want to go.
But what if I don’t make it to my destination, a voice within me protests?
Well, if my destination is one of peace, calmness and gratitude, can I not arrive there right now? Can I not be a man of peace, calmness and gratitude at this very moment?
Of course I can, and I will.
And then, not only will I be able to sit back and enjoy the ride, but I will have already made it to where I want to go. Not too shabby.
So, where do you want to go?