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It's not the destination; it's the journey

You’ve probably heard the quote, “It’s not the destination; it’s the journey.”

I'm writing this while sitting at the airport, waiting for my very delayed flight, thinking it’s definitely about the destination, and not the journey, at least when the journey includes an uncomfortable and overcrowded airport.

And it’s true, the destination is important. Because, at least in my current situation, the destination is the thing I’ve been looking forward to and planning for. And the airport is a very poor replacement for the destination. And, I would in fact, be quite disappointed if this particular journey did not end at my destination.

But then, I think about my (limited) time on the Appalachian Trail. Once we finally made it to the trail (after enduring the 604 stairs to get there), we spent the next week hiking through the north Georgia mountains, where, in June, there are limited opportunities to view anything other than the leaves. Just about every time we thought the seemingly endless climbing would lead to a magnificent viewpoint, we instead found a view blocked by trees.

And ultimately, because we were not aiming for Maine, our destination on the Appalachian Trail was simply my car (which was a welcome sight a week later, when we were very excited for showers), but not the most exciting destination.

Really, my memories of that trip have nothing to do with the destination and everything to do with the journey. The conversations we had on the trail. The people we met along the way. The race to put up the tent before the rain. The miles on the trail. The time I got to spend with two of my closest friends.

Sometimes, I think, we want to rush to the destination, maybe even by any means necessary. But if we rush to the destination, we miss the journey. And maybe there is beauty and purpose in the journey too.

Grace and peace,


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