From 1994 to 2015, every year, I had at least one plane ride. Whether I was flying to a youth camp in Glorieta, New Mexico, to visiting prospective colleges in 1996 or visiting prospective graduate schools in 2010, I was on the move. I visited India, Cambodia, France, Germany, the UK, and a lot more countries. 2015 was the first year where I didn’t travel, not even domestically. 2016-18 were big years too but you’ll have read my other posts. 2019-2020 did not see any travels for various reasons; anyone heard of “COVID-19”?
For me, once I get past the security checkpoint, I actually like to study each airport’s character. Many airports have their own personalities. You just have to get pay attention.
Every time anyone travels, there is always a destination in mind. There is usually an itinerary. Someone has an agenda: “I want to see the Musee d’Orsay in Paris!” Or, “Make sure we hit restaurant X; they serve the best Y dish!”
We love traveling so much in the West that we use such lingo to describe life. Who hasn’t heard these sentences?
“We’re all on the journey of life.”
“I’m on a journey, dude.”
“Hey, don’t judge her; she has her own journey to take.”
“It’s not the destination, but the journey.”
I am starting to hate those sentences. I hate them because no one asked the same question as the title of this post: Where are you going? Where is the trajectory of your life going? Contrary to popular belief, not everyone ends up in “heaven”. There are plenty of people who will end up in eternal judgment. The next time someone says that to me, I’m going to ask bluntly: “Where is your journey taking you?”
ALL journeys involve more than just a destination. They also include a route. Back in 2017, I went on a cruise in the South Pacific. The ship left Sydney, Australia, and cruised around the waters of New Zealand before returning home. The ship’s course took us through the Tasman Sea. From the picture below, you can see how rough the seas could be. Even being on a modern cruise ship is no guarantee that the route is smooth.
I have to ask this question for those people: what route are you taking? Is the course of your life headed for calm waters or choppy seas? And if you are going through the storm, is that a storm of your own making? In our quest for pleasure or wealth, we can destroy ourselves. The Bible says that the love of money is the root of all evil. Yes, the love of it, not money itself. The Apostle Paul continues in the same passage that many have pierced themselves because of it. So I ask: did you plot a course that is free of obstacles? Or did you miss the sign that says: “Warning: minefield ahead?”
We are not guaranteed a life that is free from suffering. In fact, we may be doing the right thing for the right reasons and yet go through with a storm.
Even some of this thinking has entered the Christian church. Whenever I talk to pastors, some use this “journey” metaphor to describe Christian living. It’s become a buzzword for discipleship. The underlying meaning is: “Don’t focus on where you are going; focus on who you are.” In other words, focus on being the right person and growing as a disciple of Christ.
I agree 100% with the goals of discipleship: a long obedience in the right direction, to borrow a phrase from Eugene Peterson.
But why? Why go on this “Christian journey” of transformation? Where am I going on this journey? Self-discovery is nice, but so going to Angel Falls.
Go back to what I said about heaven. I mentioned that heaven is not the default destination for everyone. However, Heaven IS a destination for the believers. Why would God create this awesome place described in the Book of Revelation and then tell Christians: “It’s not the destination; it’s the journey.”??
I submit that it is both: where my own journey leads and the path I take are very important questions. One certainly influences the other: in the book of Colossians, Paul commanded Christians to set our hearts and minds on heavenly things so that we won’t live a wicked life on earth.
Where are you going?
And what course are you taking to get there?
One thought on “Where are You Going?”
This is indeed the all-important question. Or, as pastors sometimes phrase it: “When you get where you’re going, where will you be?”