Do you ever find yourself so attached to getting to the goal, crossing the finish line, or reaching the end of something that by the time you finally get to where it is you were headed, you realize that you missed out on most of the journey? The place I notice this a lot in myself is when I’m on my bicycle – I’m so single-sighted about getting up that crazy long hill, making it back before the rain starts, or finishing that last 15 miles that I don’t realize I’ve missed a beautiful patch of wild flowers or passed by a breath-taking view of the local landscape. And that’s just on one ride! What about all of life? Why are we so good at pointing ourselves forward and then, without even realizing it, donning a type of blinders that has us miss much of our existence?
I imagine we can chalk some of it up to the rushed pace with which we live our lives, but I believe that many of us have also become way too accustomed to an awe-less kind of life. We’ve set ourselves on a type of autopilot that keeps us on the middle road – a term that the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary defines in relation to music as “tuneful but somewhat bland and unadventurous” – a place where we know where we’re going, but we don’t tune into the amazingness of where we are. Can you relate?
Many of us are going through life with our vision set on satisfactory or acceptable without even realizing that there are points along the dial such as mind-blowing, passionate, or miraculous. These settings are the ones that can see the gorgeous sunset, feel the joy of a baby’s giggle, and touch the tenderness of someone’s grief. These are the settings that shift us away from the destination and into our journey!