I used to love flying on airplanes. I used to look forward to it as part of the vacation. Our time in the hotel with the river pool and the extremely potent air conditioning, or the lobby through which flew wild parrots and the hotel room in which my brother got left behind when we all went out for breakfast, inevitably drew to a close. I always was able to console myself with the thought of the flight home. As in, “At least I still have the flight to look forward to.”
Now, let’s set aside the degradation in the quality of air travel since the days of wigwam socks, side-ponies, and Keds. Flying was something I looked forward to, not because it was so luxurious, but because I loved the journey. I saw it as a very special, integral part of the fun. I even loved airplane food. I had my first cheddar cheese omelet aboard Pan Am. I love cheese omelets! I loved how you had your own personal fold-down seat-back tray. It was so convenient and you didn’t have to share. (This would be something I might imagine my Uncle Richie would have appreciated. I never fully appreciated, and I give my sister credit for noticing, his childlike wonder at simple things, like the variety of jellies they give you for free in the little carrier on the table at the diner!)
Now all I want to do is microwave the journey. Zap and I’m there.
Subconsciously, maybe that’s why I fall asleep in the car, without exception. My carcolepsy is a symptom of my unwillingness to enjoy the trip? Sleeping makes it all go by faster?
I know I am supposed to enjoy the journey. Because most of life is going to be the journey. The destination is really just a temporary stop in between. Once you get there and look around a little, enjoy the scenery, go for a hike, and maybe take a pink jeep tour, you’re ready to set out on the next journey to the base camp two.
The question is: do I have it in me to sit and wait and receive and anticipate the very amazing things that are on their way. Can I be in the space that is not necessarily journey, but isn’t destination, either? This is faith: doing the next right thing and waiting, anticipating, expecting, welcoming, the great things that are on their way. This is hard!
In the past, I’d been willing do any and all variations on hard work to get what I want. I push, push, push, pull, pull, pull, work, work, work. I’d keep my head down until I got to the end, perhaps missing some landmarks along the way. And when I didn’t get what I wanted, it’d be a massive disappointment. It was challenging to see what I’d gained along the way. Operating with a higher level of faith – faith that what I desire is on its way – is a different sort of hard work. It’s the absence of the pushing, and grabbing, and screaming, and yelling “I want it!” It’s the sitting, and doing, and waiting, and expecting, and accepting the arrival of amazing things. I only have to do the next right thing, continue to expect the best, while remembering to look out the window, at the world below.