Someone once asked me, how come the things you want the most are the hardest to get? I think the younger we are the more we just look at the prize at the end. The older you get you begin to realize it’s not the prize so much as the journey it took to get there. These journeys may be emotion, physical, or spiritual.
One of the biggest positive emotional journeys I have ever had were the births of my four children. The reason they were emotional was because of the miracle that was occurring over nine months. You also create a closer bond with your spouse because of what each of you are going through especially the woman. Then there is the first ultrasound picture, then the first time you feel the kick, and then the actual miracle of birth. Finally, the day your child is born begins an eternal journey of parenthood with all the ups and downs that make the parental journey what it is. Of course not all emotional journeys are always positive but these too will involve a journey that will help mold who we are.
Any athlete will understand the physical journey it takes to accomplish a goal. Talk to any championship team and I guarantee you they will talk about the time, preparation, and work it took to achieve that goal. Have you ever had a bad accident or major surgery that required rehabilitation? I know people who have had bad car accidents requiring months if not years of rehab to get back to where they want to be. The worst for me were a few back surgeries. But that struggle and pain I went through to get back to the physical condition I was, was no picnic. My three sons play hockey and right now my youngest son who is seven is in practice which is made up entirely of skill drills. After every practice he always asks why aren’t they scrimmaging or playing a game. He doesn’t understand but these are the drills that will make him a better player and the team a better team. This is the hard work, the journey that will hopefully bring success at the end of the season.
For most a spiritual journey is forever. We may be tested daily, question, fall down, get back up, etc. In my faith, the ultimate journey was the journey of Jesus. It concluded with a combination of all these journeys: emotional, physical, and spiritual. He was persecuted, died, and buried, only to rise again all for the ultimate prize of our eternal salvation. Remembering this does help me in my daily struggles. I realize that along with all the joys we have, human life does have pain and suffering. It is part of life’s journey. I don’t know why ALS is part of my journey and with that my family’s journey, but it is. It doesn’t seem fair and quite honestly stinks for many reasons. But most of us don’t choose our journeys we can only choose how to deal with it. In the end, hopefully I and all of you will achieve the ultimate prize: a place in heaven. When I get there, I hope I can look back on my journey on earth with all of the ups and downs that go along with it will joy and be proud of what it took in my journey to reach my ultimate goal.