What if you were offered a trip for two to Pike's Peak? You and your best friend get to fly to Colorado and visit this beautiful mountain. You have two options. Either you can:
1) Climb into an enclosed chairlift at the base of the mountain. The lift is enclosed by 4 walls with no windows. Inside, you find two recliners, a television, and headphones that plug into each chair. You can sit and watch television or recline your seat back and fall asleep as the chairlift climbs the mountain.
2) Start at the base of the mountain with your friend, a map and all of your climbing gear. From the base, you slowly and steadily will climb up the mountain. You will ache, sweat, get a few cuts and probably cry. You may get into an argument here and there with your friend and you may take a couple of paths that are dead ends. When you reach the dead ends, you just stop, go back to the main path, and begin up again. Slowly, but surely, you will reach the top of the mountain.
Which route will you choose? In either case, when you reach the top and look over the peak, you are going to see a spectacular view that you likely will never forget. I firmly believe, however, that if you walked up the path, instead of rode the chairlift, the view is going to be more beautiful. Your relationship with your friend and and your belief in yourself will also be strengthened.
So many times in my life, I want to take the chairlift up. I want to ride up with ease and comfort and reach all of my destinations with little effort on my part. I want to be an excellent speaker before I step up in front of the crowd. I want to be a spectacular author, before I start writing. I focus on getting my kids raised and seeing them walk across the graduation stage, before I even have them potty-trained.
The Joy really is in the Journey. If we focus entirely on the goals or destinations in our life, we will not appreciate them when we reach them. I have found that it is important for me to look ahead, plan and reach for my goals, but have also realized that it is just important for me to come back to the here and now and enjoy the life God has given me today.