While searching through some of my old notes, I found this article pasted in one of my notebooks from way back in 1990:

“Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision.  We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent.  We are traveling by train.  Out of the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.  But uppermost in our minds is the final destination.  Bands will be playing and flags waving.  Once we get there, our dreams will come true, and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a jigsaw puzzle.  How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering — waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

‘When we reach the station, that will be it!’ we cry.  

‘When I’m 18.’

‘When I buy a new 450 SL Mercedes-Benz!’

‘When I put the last kid through college.’

‘When I have paid off the mortgage!’

‘When I get a promotion.’

‘When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after!’

Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all.  The true joy of the life is the trip.  The station is only  a dream.  It constantly outdistances us.  ‘Relish the moment’ is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24 ‘This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.’  It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad.  It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow.  Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.  So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles.  Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less.  Life must be lived as we go along.  The station will come soon enough.” – Robert J. Hastings

Even though I thought this piece important enough to save, as a young teen, I still wished for many things:

to be prettier, more popular….

for someone (besides my mom or dad) to think that I was special…

for God to show me just exactly WHAT He wanted me to do with my life…

Somehow I thought that if or when all of that fell into place, life would be better, easier, happier.  THEN I could live out my true purpose!

Years later I’ve realized I should have enjoyed those days more instead of wishing them away or worrying and crying about so many things.  No matter what stage or season of life we are in, there is always something lacking.  There is always something else to gain, attain or acquire. And there is always something to look back on with regret. (In those areas I have to apply Philippians 3:14-15)   What do we overlook in the present by being consumed with all of those things?  I’ve wished for so many “difficult” days to pass quickly.  Only in looking back have I realized how precious and fleeting those days really were. Yes, God was teaching me.  Yes, God was preparing me.  He was also fulfilling His purpose within me and using me! How much more could I have honored Him if I had been fully content?

Today, this quote went along with my devotional thoughts.  “Sometimes when you are in a dark place, you think you’ve been buried, but actually, you’ve been planted.” (Christine Caine)  I can look back at times in my life and know that is true, and it should make all the difference in how I view the present.

No matter where I am in this journey called “life,” I should focus on the blessings God has placed there and ENJOY the day God has given.  “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well-fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV) Oh, that I could daily say as Paul said in Philippians 4:11 “I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.” Because where I am at any given moment in time is EXACTLY where God wants me to fulfill His purpose, to honor and glorify Him…no matter the circumstances.

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” (Phil. 1:6)  My “earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness…so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body…” (Phil.1:20)