It’s all in the journey itself, not the end

Published 8:34pm Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Drunken ol’ Ernest Hemingway would be very proud because I too have found that more important than reaching the end of a journey, is what you learn on the journey itself.

It started about two years ago when I realized I had no idea what people were talking about when they would say, “I gave him an offer he couldn’t refuse,” in an Italian accent. I was limited to what movies my nugget eyes could see as a kid.

While others in my second grade class talked about, “How Leo DiCaprio was such a total hunk,” I just had to imagine what he looked like in Titanic while friends re-enacted the iceberg scene on the playground. They made me play the role of, “The Captain Who Has To Go Down With The Ship Because You Haven’t Seen The Movie.”

But all that changed two years ago at the start of a new journey. I watched every movie that was nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards from 1980 until today.

I can now quote “The Godfather,” “A Few Good Men,” “Shawshank Redemption” and many other classics. I learned so much about careers from movies like “The Accidental Tourist,” “Up In the Air” and “Working Girl.” I learned about the grittiness of war, the pain and suffering that comes from abuse and the irony and comedy of some painful situations.

Going on a journey, no matter what it will be, can shape your life. Journeys bring us new perspective and mold us as if we were clay.

This week I interviewed several who went on journeys for an array of reasons. Two veterans started Ruck For Cure and are walking from Myrtle Beach, SC all the way to San Francisco. Tuesday they made their walk through Selma, fighting cancer step-by-step.

I couldn’t help but wonder what the two military men think about when they walk for miles in the rain on the side of the highway. One said he was walking for his dad who has cancer.

I also got to speak to Dewey Miller who has been on a spiritual journey since 1995 when God called him to make Old Testament furniture replicas. He told me he paces his shop, and waits for God to give him directions. What an amazing journey to be able to have to listen to God in a different way and trade in some instincts for others.

And then I think of those who have completed their journey to the end. Our beloved Jean T. Martin has passed this week but I know Jean knew it was more about what happened along the way than the very end of her journey. In the time I had with her she told me about living in Japan, riding bikes in Selma and singing in church.

Movies, two veterans, a machinist turned Old Testament craftsmen and Jean, have molded my journey because we simply collided paths along the way.


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