Some people believe that life is a journey over continually unfamiliar territory. We start at “point A,” wherever we are now, and are trying to get to “point B” off in the distance somewhere. Sometimes the road is straight and sometimes it curves. Sometimes it is hard and at other times easy, but the one constant is that we have never passed this way before, and thus are constantly challenged by things we are unfamiliar with.
I believe that the journey of life is more accurately compared to a road that circles a mountain in an upward spiral, climbing toward the top. As we follow the road up the mountain, around each bend in the road we find familiar scenery, things we have faced before in some form or other. It is true that the actual section of the road we are traveling may be unfamiliar, but it is like things we have done before. We learn from our experience and our mistakes and from our victories and accomplishments. We learn that we can ford the rivers and traverse the ravines that cross our path.
Each time we come around again to a familiar scene, we find that we have gained perspective; we have moved up the mountain and have a better view than we had the last time we passed this point. Sometimes the trip around has been relatively easy and we may not have gained much elevation over our previous visit. We have experienced some growth. At other times the journey has been a challenge; the road has been steep and there may have been rocks, boulders and potholes scattered along the way. After such a segment in our journey we often find that our perspective has increased greatly and our understanding as well. We have experienced significant growth.
So long as we continue to climb, we will continue to grow and be rewarded with spectacular views and increased understanding. However, if we get stuck – if we refuse to continue the journey because it seems too hard – we deprive ourselves of the rewards that await us, both along the way, and when we reach the summit. The challenge is to remain focused on the summit – the objective of our journey – and also to enjoy the views and accomplishments along the way.
- What “familiar scenery” do you keep coming to in your life?
- How have you grown in wisdom or ability between visits?
- How steep has your road been?
- Do you regret having chosen an easy path or to have stopped climbing at some point?
- Are you willing to choose a fork in the road that will help you grow more even if it is a steeper climb? What might that look like?
- What have been the rewards you have received for continuing the climb and not giving up when it gets hard?
Please share your thoughts about this post by commenting below.