I wrote this musing in January, 2013. When I came across it recently, I realized how timeless it is. As we end a year and begin a new one, I felt it is worth sharing, again. Now, with a postscript.
I’m Getting There
Roads, directions, mile markers, signs, ramps, bridges…we are always moving because that is the way of life. This has long been an inspiration to poets, including myself. We rely on maps, GPS, satellites, to help guide us.
Bill has a satellite GPS in his truck. It speaks the directions to him, giving warnings, telling him which way to turn. I named it Hal, after HAL 9000, the computer in “2001: A Space Odyssey”. While Hal can show and give directions, even Hal doesn’t know everything down the roads. (“I’m sorry, Dave; I’m afraid I can’t do that.”) There are detours, weather factors, missing signs, construction, accidents, the unexpected, and the unknown. If Bill listened to him exclusively, he could end up off-roading in an 18-wheeler.
This is life, too. We each must make a journey through life. We come into this world alone, and leave it alone. We may be guided by our parents. We are definitely influenced by our family and peers. We do not travel through life alone; not one of us does. Nevertheless, it is our personal journey to make. No one can make your journey for you. No one can tell you where to go, or how to get there. You find the tools that help you navigate, because you must. If you don’t keep moving, you become a casualty.
There are times that you may feel lost, and only you can find your way. Sometimes you have to “reconfigure” the route. Even with GPS or navigational devices, you have to use your own senses to find your own way. The fog may move in, or the GPS may be off (Dang it, Hal!). You control the GPS. You control your life. You must focus, and give your undivided attention to your direction and intended destination if you are ever to arrive.
That’s where I am. I needed some time to “reconfigure” my route with writing, blogging, myself and life. I needed to quiet the road noise. I had to be able to hear my internal GPS. I am getting back behind the wheel. I will finish the race, but I will do it my way. I will listen to my own GPS, and I will turn off the road noise when I need to. I’ll get there.
Now, five years later, I still occasionally withdraw from traffic, park my spirit, and reset my inner GPS. After refueling my soul, I am able to continue on my journey, with purpose.
I don’t want to miss anything of value. I want my journey to have been a wise one. I know that at the end of my road there will be the Pearly Gate. When I park there, I want to be sure that I have used my miles wisely. I want there to be no doubt that I followed the signs, observed the rules of the road, and stayed in my lane. I do not want to be a distraction to others or an obstacle on their road.
We are all in this world together. Our roads inevitably intersect. Some of us travel side by side for miles. For others, it is but a brief time that we share on this journey through life. Sometimes, we have a mishap, sideswipe someone, or outright collide. But, in each encounter, there is a lesson. There is always something of value, to use somewhere along the route we maneuver.
There are many roads to choose from. Realistically, there are wrong roads, bad routes, one-way streets, and even U-turns. But, no one can tell you where to go, or the right way to get there. You must listen to your own GPS and decide your own route. Because, the journey is yours.
Thank you for being a part of my journey. I hope this year brings smoother roads for everyone. Set your internal GPS; enjoy your journey. Peace be with you.