Often, the life each of us lives is metaphorically referred to as a journey. We enter our life as a tiny being, not being conscious of much, but even that point is the start of a journey. As soon as we become self-aware, we begin to make decisions am I going to eat that stuff they’re trying to feed me or not; am I going to walk today or not. Each decision becomes more complicated as we move along the path of our lives. As we get older and become more aware that our status depends on how prepared we are to live and thrive, serve others and be a part of a greater whole, we hit our stride. Unfortunately, some of us never seem to be able to hit our stride. Do you know a forty-year-old who is still trying to figure out what they want to do when they grow up?
The Apostle Paul in II Timothy 4:7 states, “I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” Of course, Paul is referring to his life of preaching the gospel and carrying out the commands issued him by Jesus Christ. He’s near the end of his life and he’s in line for all the heavenly rewards expected of one who has been a faithful follower of Jesus. I’m a believer in Jesus and I can certainly identify with Paul’s statement; however, let’s look at the issue of considering life as a journey in another way. Let’s look at the title of this piece and ask yourself the question it presents.
I would like to think that most of us do give some thought to why we’re here. I would also like to think that most of us conclude that we’re here to be the best human being we can be. In pursuit of that goal, we consider development of ourselves physically, emotionally, spiritually as critical. If we are an all-round well developed human being, we would naturally think of service to others. We would see a sense of community as important. We would keep watch for people who are placed in our path as an opportunity to serve, even when we might think a particular person has all that one could imagine, material wise.
I’ve heard it said that we’re not here to just take up space. Interestingly, that phrase assumes that there’s never a need for someone to just take up space. I’m challenged to think how that function could ever serve a useful purpose, but who knows.
You may be like me, at a point where there’s more life in the rear-view mirror than through the windshield. If you are, you probably are taking an occasional retrospective of your journey up to this point. What service have you provided? How many times have you said no when you should have said yes? If your creator judged you today, what would the verdict be? Come on, you know the answers to those questions. I’ve never taken a test in school where I didn’t have some inkling about how well I’ve done before the teacher passes out the grades. One thing I remember about school is that I always had an opportunity to improve, depending on where I was in the term. Although we don’t have a clue about when the term of our life will end, we can improve the quality of our journey if we still have blood running through our veins. Grandma Moses was born in 1860. She began painting in earnest at age 78. She had a remarkably successful career in the arts. She died in 1961. I’m certain she had no idea she would have the length of time she did creating works of art for the world to enjoy.
If our self-examination indicates that we need to make some adjustments in our journey, it’s never too late to make those adjustments. We already know what must be done. We just need to do it. It’s our walk to take, our race to run, our journey to enjoy. I think Nike said it best: Just do it!
I’m old and blessed…hope you will be too.