When traveling in the northern region of the lower peninsula of Michigan, people can see a sign stating, “45th Parallel…half-way between the equator and the north pole.” Of course, when I see the sign, I’m not on a journey all the way from the equator to the north pole, but I still like knowing exactly where I am in relation to both of those.
In fact, I’d often like to know exactly where I am in my life journey. Am I closer to the beginning or the end of my attempt to potty-train my 2-year-old? And when exactly do the “terrible twos” begin and end? Others might wonder if they’re nearing the end of their job search, if they’re making progress in their attempts to heal a broken relationship, or if they’re getting any closer to making a new friend. Will this student ever grasp a difficult math concept? Is this business going to turn a profit this year? Is another round of chemotherapy going to eradicate the cancer? Will the bank grant another month’s grace before recalling a loan?
Yes, life is full of uncertainties, and we don’t often have the benefit of knowing that we’re “half-way,” or even having any idea of how close we are to the end of a particular life-related journey in our work, parenting, relationships, investments, etc. In fact, none of us knows how many days we have on this earth.
I often remind myself to find joy in the journey. Although destinations are eagerly anticipated, each day is taking us one step farther than we were the day before. Are we making every day count? Are we enjoying the “scenery” (people, events, experiences) along the way? Even if we’re “not there yet,” we can delight in each day, and value the opportunities we encounter along the way to grow both personally and interpersonally!