Life is a trip

by Mark McDonald

I love to travel, and one of the most fun parts of traveling is planning the trip.

For me, a great trip involves two necessary elements: the destination and the itinerary. 

Years ago, I used to contact AAA and request travel plans. They would send me a map that included possible stops along the way. Now, that same planning tool is available almost instantly online, and you can travel with apps that help you find the most interesting places to visit along the way.

But even with the best plans, things happen to change the details along the way. While the destination remains constant, the plans along the way often change. Car problems, delays, traffic and illness can throw off the entire plan, and sometimes it’s critical to stop and pay attention to the unexpected to keep on track for the ultimate destination.

Jesus once told his followers not to worry about each day (Matthew 6:25-34). He reminded us that God provides everything we need, but he also told us to have two priorities in that same passage: God’s kingdom (where we are headed) and God’s righteousness (doing the right things for others along the way). 

In Christianity, Judaism and Islam, we share two ultimate commandments to love God first (our destination), and second, to love our neighbor (care for needs along the way). There are many more faith stories about keeping our eyes on the destination while also paying attention to those that are around us at each step of the journey.

As we begin a new year and you read through this issue of 501 LIFE, let’s come to this important realization: Life isn’t just about the destination. It’s about the journey. And the best trips have a clear destination, but they also allow for us to focus on the day-to-day opportunities to enjoy the stops along the journey. 

Mark McDonald