The life of anything on this earth has to go through a journey. Some journeys are relatively short and some long. There are some trees that have been around for hundreds of years. People, depending on what hemisphere they’re born in, may be around as long as a hundred, plus a few years. Some insects are here for a few days. But, no matter the life form, a journey is to be had. With journeys come incidents along the way. Trees often are struck by lightning, or damaged by insects, and in some cases, unnatural events brought on by man. Some trees survive whatever might come their way, while others don’t. The point is that no journey is without its positives and negatives, presenting variety and drama. God knows that we have to experience some things as we go through life’s journey. Oftentimes, it seems like the journeys we take are through the valley of the shadow of death. (That dark piece of real estate referred to in the Twenty-Third Psalm.)

Many of us don’t understand the opportunities journeys offer. They introduce new experiences, new sites, sounds, and chances to grow and develop in strength and wisdom. Many of us tend to get bogged down from some experience along the way, convinced that this is it. I can’t go any further. Life is too hard. Why is this happening to me? Journeys are characterized by movement. Bumps in the road should be seen as sights in the rear view mirror. If one gets stuck on an experience that caused great trauma and emotional scaring, it’s as if they jumped from the vehicle of life and decided to stay in one place. A person who reacts to the bumps and challenges of life in this manner will find themselves seeing others passing them by. They don’t realize their experiences aren’t so unique that stopping is their only option.

Looking at journeys from a spiritual perspective, I must refer again to the Twenty-Third Psalm. The fourth verse in that Bible passage states, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.” If one looks at that verse closely, there is one point that stands out very clearly; the writer is walking through the valley. It makes no difference the obstacles along the way of this journey; the walker is making forward progress. Some may say that’s easier for a person who has faith in a higher power. To the contrary, I would say it’s not easier, but necessary to move forward with every God-given step provided to take the journey we all have been afforded.

Some journeys are viewed with much anticipation, and others are greeted with a heavy heart, but they all provide opportunities. It’s not the circumstances surrounding the journey on which we should focus, but the frame of mind we should always have in store to fuel every step along the way. Life’s journey provides opportunities for each of us to gain in countless ways, but it also provides opportunities to give. If we take our life’s journey for all it offers, we’ll increase our chances of producing legacy that will make even God proud.