Sometimes it seems as though we are grinding to get to a particular point in our lives. It seems as though what we have isn't enough. Occasionally, we feel as though we are not enough. It is important to remember that there is more to life than just -- more. There is more to life than the end. The journey is not only relevant, it is critical to our success as complete beings.
When graduation, that big promotion, the big speech, or even your wedding day comes; it will be the preparation for that moment that will matter the most. It is the preparation that transforms us. For example, studying for finals. The final test has little to do with enhancing your understanding of the course, contrarily, the many hours of studying you did before the exam has everything to do with it.
In the same vein, when you are preparing for something critical, enjoy the work. God designed our world, all of it. The easy parts as well as the difficult ones. We must learn to smile through the pain. "It hurts so good," is something I say from time to time when I am pushing myself or enduring a difficult situation. Within our journey, pain and anguish are often accompanied by laughter or tears of joy. All of those emotions and trials remind us that we are very much so alive. We must enjoy the journey. We MUST enjoy this life.
There was a philosophical question once posed in relation to the Greek myth of Sisyphus. Sisyphus was a man that had received an eternal punishment from Zeus. The punishment was to roll a giant builder up a never-ending hill in Hades. He was to grind and sweat and toil for all time. The question was a simple one. Was he in hell or in heaven?
The answer to the question relates to whether or not he enjoyed the journey. Often times we only work hard at something to reach a final destination. But there are a select group of people who have learned to enjoy the journey. If Sisyphus enjoyed nothing more than pushing boulders up hills, he would have been in heaven. If he only longed to be at the top of the hill, his never-ending journey would be hell.
Many people who truly become great at anything, do it because it is what they love to do. They love the journey. All of the accolades that come along with it are merely extra. Doing the thing they love is all the reward they need.
Whatever journey you are on now, find some part of the journey that you love. Remember the feelings of pain, tiredness, frustration, joy, laughter, or tears are all reminders that we are alive. They are part of the process, preparing us for the many great things God has in store.
Adam Johnson is the founder and president of the Lighthouse Guild for the Gifted. During the day he serves as a an assistant principal for a large Middle School in the Greater Houston Area.
He is searching for a collaborative venue to begin the Lighthouse's work in earnest this coming season and has himself been engaged in the difficult journeys that come with life.