The Longest Journey
“To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1
The longest season of my life so far has been motherhood. With its highs and lows, joys and tears, discomfort and pain, doubts and fears, I, first, watched myself saunter, climb, sprint, crawl, trudge, and sputter into womanhood, and then, again, into my role as “mommy”. It has been a journey unlike any I have ever read about in any travel book, but it has been the most rewarding, fulfilling, and memorable of any I have ever taken. ( And I am not even half way through it yet.)
The rewards have not been name-plated trophies or engraved plaques of appreciation. Rather, there have been those scattered opportunities to see my impact on these little blessings of mine. As my children change from helpless infants to mobile little people full of curiosity, innocence, openness, and bright-eyed wonder, I revel in their satisfaction over a job well done, or as they grasp the meaningfulness of a helpful hand, a kind word, a compliment, or a gesture of care. Watching them learn and grow is the incentive that fuels our family days. And remembering these sweet, refreshing incidences has been the key to keeping me energized and inspired to continue going mile after mile. As, it is a journey not just for me, but also for them.
There are certainly moments when I feel unappreciated, overworked, discouraged, and desperately needing some “oil of joy”, but, all in all, life is FULL. Kisses, hugs, smiles, singing, laughter, arguing, whining, angry outbursts, and pleas for forgiveness litter the hours that we, as a family, spend together. Each adds to my growth, our growth, and the character that takes us one step further along this highway called LIFE.
The “elements” may hinder me: avalanches of responsibility; downpours of misunderstandings and trials to limit my vision; icy conditions causing me to slip and slide, seemingly, uncontrollably into the unknown; “hit and runs” that may leave a scratch, total my peace, or graze me leaving me to wonder what happened… Each act as potholes formed along the way that make me wary to trust, love, hope. Yet, these do not fully determine my ability to make it to my destination. As Sir Winston Churchill once said, “Every day you may make progress. Every step may be fruitful. Yet there will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, ever-ascending, ever-improving path. You know you will never get to the end of the journey. But this, so far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.” In other words, “we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope.” (Romans 5:3)
As I weather on, speeding, steaming, floating, or screaming, what I want most is to enjoy the ride and the scenery along the way. In all portions of the journey- bumpy, monotonous, nerve-wracking, or smooth- I want to relax and appreciate and be grateful, to soak it all in. I want to triumph in victories, persevere through those rough spots, and, in general, be “content in all circumstances” (Philippians 4:11).
“Godspeed, Blessings, Hope, And Joy!” to you, in whatever stage of journeying you are in…