TUCKED away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long train trip spanning the continent. Through the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on freeways, of children waving from a crossing, of cattle grazing on a hillside, of smoke pouring from a power station, of row upon row of maize and wheat, of mountains and valleys and city skylines.
But uppermost in our minds is our destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Then wonderful dreams will come true, and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the loitering minutes - waiting, waiting...
‘When I reach the station, that will be it,’ we tell ourselves. ‘When I’m 21.’ ‘When I buy a Lexus!’ ‘When I put my last child through university.’ ‘When I’ve paid off the mortgage!’ ‘When I get that big promotion.’ ‘When I retire, and my assurance policies pay out’ ‘I shall live happily ever after!’
Sooner or later we realize there is no station, no place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream that constantly outdistances us.
“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”
So, stop pacing the aisles and measuring distance. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, and laugh more. Live life as you go along.