Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Joy In The Journey

Anonymous did it again. Whoever this person is put it well: “Follow your dream! Unless it’s the one where you’re at work in your underwear during a fire drill.” Yes – some dreams should be forgotten as soon as possible. 

But when it comes to life dreams, rather than sleep dreams, I am coming to believe that it is less important whether you actually reach a goal or achieve a beautiful dream than just to follow. Simply start following and see where it leads.

Let me explain. 

Two brothers decided to dig a deep hole behind their house. As they were working, a couple of older boys stopped by to watch.

“What are you doing?” asked one of the visitors.

“We plan to dig a hole all the way through the earth!” one of the brothers volunteered excitedly.

The older boys began to laugh, telling the younger ones that digging a hole all the way through the earth was impossible. After a long silence, one of the diggers picked up jar full shiny pebbles, worms and a wide assortment of odd insects. He showed it to the scoffing visitors and said quietly and confidently, “Even if we don’t dig all the way through the earth, look what we found along the way.”

Maybe their goal was too ambitious, but it did get them to dig. And that is what following a dream is about – our best dreams point us where we want to go and then nudge us in that direction. In other words, they set us to digging.

But you know how it goes – you just won’t achieve everything you attempt. You may shoot for the moon and only hit the neighbor’s window. 

You may fully intend to be in love for a lifetime. But not every relationship will endure. Not every hope will come to pass. Not every endeavor will be completed. Not every dream will be realized.

But here is the wonder of it all ... when you fall short of your aim, perhaps you can say, “Yes, but look at what I found along the way. Look at the wonderful things which have come into my life because I tried to do something.”

I think those boys got it right. It is in the digging that life is lived. It’s the joy in the journey that matters most.

-- Steve Goodier

Image: Dewey


Unknown said...

You're spot on. It is the daydreaming that gets us nowhere and so too the putting off our dreams until we're sure they're right, attainable, acceptable...the list goes on and on. This is what gets us no where.

Rather the act of creation is that which pushes us into the path of opportunity. It really matters not what our dream is but rather that we're in action and open to the wonderful opportunities that our path will put us in contact with.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post. I am going through a divorce and having one of those days when I feel like I've failed. I came upon the paragraph that says,
"You may fully intend to be in love for a lifetime. But not every
relationship will endure. Not every hope will come to pass. Not every endeavor will be completed. Not every dream will be realized." and it was like God was speaking to me.
After reading your blog I looked at my two beautiful girls and realized that I may have fallen short of my aim, but I have a lot to show for it. Thanks again>

Dave Mullan said...

Great story, thanks.

Our church is going through a bad patch trying to envision a future with two sets of dreams that go in very different directions.

Even there, I think that we can say we are finding things along the way that make the journey less stressful.

The Life Of A Junebug said...

Yes, the journey is much more important than the destination. I love Cavafy's poem on this subject --"Ithaca."

Anonymous said...

someone once told me that periodically one should "clean out" the closet of all old dreams, the ones that were obviously no longer attainable, so that we could focus better on the ones that WERE attainable. I think I was 65 when I decided that my dream of becoming a nurse was probably one of those dreams I should bury. I was free of guilt from never having accomplished that dream, and there was some sweet relief that occurred when I did that. I think it's a good idea to evaluate from time to time just what our dreams are. Put them down on paper instead of just in our heads.

The Life Of A Junebug said...

I agree about cleaning out the old dreams. Some of mine just aren't physically attainable now that I'm almost 65 years old, and some things that I used to care deeply about are not so important now. I think as we age, we certainly still have dreams, but they do change as our focus changes. I always thought that I would go back to college someday and finish my degree. Now, I just want to take courses that interest me. I don't even care about getting credit for them. I want to continue learning for the rest of my life, but a degree would be meaningless to me at this time of my life when a career is the least of my desires.