04 08 2016

Journey before destination

Life before death
Strength before weakness
Journey before destination

Sighing with relief, heart still pounding with anticipation, fingers itching to find the sequel, I close page 1007 of Brandon Sanderson's thrilling and thought-provoking work of art. Fantasy books -- my guilty pleasure. (Along with really cheesy romance novels and Jodi Picoult). I confess that I spent the majority of the past three summer days in a lazy chair, captivated by a completely different world. I started 'The Way of Kings' a year ago and didn't touch it for 10 months (which will probably happen with the sequel), but it was worth the wait.

I'm still lost in thought, meditating on the many deep questions raised by the characters. They tackle depression, leadership, morality, sacrifice, perseverance. The quote that sticks in my mind is "Journey before destination." How you get to your goal matters. I wonder about this assertion as I climb the 192 steps leading from the beach to my luxurious vacation house. I discovered, after nearly dying several times, that the best way to handle the steps is by running up them. It uses muscles I like more, it keeps everything but my toes from touching the hot wood, and it just goes faster. But of course the main reason is that I feel much more accomplished. The three family members trudging along behind me do not feel the least bit inclined to join me. They get there too. And they're a lot less tired than I am when they do. It's subjective, then.

Journey before destination.

The journey is important. What you do and how you do it matters. Maybe even more than where you end up. Yet it can be reversed as well. Before there can be a journey, there must be a destination. What will aimless wandering achieve? Probably the wrong path. The destination must always be kept in sight if the journey is to have a purpose.

And this is the ever-constant balance of the Christian journey: our final destination always in sight yet the steps taken one at a time (all 192 of them). I want to make each little step count. Someone already showed us how.
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