Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Grape #4: Loving The Road You're On

I'm in the midst of planning my first vacation to Maui. People keep asking me if I'm excited, and then they realize how silly a question that is. Even though Maui is filled with many beautiful resorts, the more you look at it, the more you realize just how much of a resort the entire island is. Plush rain forests, incredible waterfalls, gorgeous beaches with crystal clear ocean water: Maui's beauty is just astonishing. And I haven't even gone yet!

Apparently one of the coolest things to do on Maui is called "The Road To Hana", a long, winding road along the cliffs of eastern Maui that takes you into the town of Hana. But the town itself isn't the destination. "The Road" is. It's the drive itself that brings tourists from the comfort of their resorts on the west side of the island all the way to the other end.

Sometimes the destination we seek is already right where we are, if we take the time to appreciate the road itself. If we spend all our time expecting and hoping, we'll miss the real goal: accepting and coping. John Powell once said, "A person can grow only as much as his horizon allows." And I believe and love that kind of thinking! But if your soul is only focused on the end result, you'll miss a whole lot of the view along the way.

Maybe the road from your house to your job is no "Road To Hana", and maybe the way you go to do your food shopping is hardly filled with waterfalls and sandy beaches. But if your soul isn't "on" during the workday, or on the drive to the market, or even when you're doing the laundry, you're missing an awful lot of life. Some people seem absolutely glued to the notion that life is about putting up with a lot of crap in between weekends. If we live life only for the weekends though, we're just living 2/7 of our life!

I like to believe that Heaven is just the beginning of many new adventures, and not just an end-game destination where we sit around and "rest in peace". So it makes sense for me that I'd make my life about going from adventure to adventure too. You can't get me on a zip line or a roller coaster, but I do like to find lots of little adventures in my life and in each new day.

There will always be days when you have to remind yourself to appreciate your blessings, when people around you and circumstances you're dealing with just weigh you down. But that's part of what "The Road" is by its very nature.

Interestingly, the word "Hana" in Hawaiian literally means work, job, duty, or activity. It makes sense, too, because even though a drive along The Road To Hana is incredibly beautiful, it's also very dangerous. Single-lane bridges and speeding drivers can make the trip really scary at times. While appreciating the beauty in every direction, you also have real work to do as you focus on the road itself.

So as you go through this day, and the next, and the one after that too, focus on "The Road". Honor its importance, and keep yourself safe. The destination will arrive when it's time, and we'll have more destinations after that. But for right now, appreciate the trip itself too. The journey to the "end point" is the end point on this circle of life, because there is no real end point! Do your Hana, your work, but always remember to love the road you're on.

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