The Best Part of the Trip

If you like to make frequent stops, plan long sightseeing excursions, and visit area friends or friends of friends, please don’t travel with me.

If you would like a leisurely trip with a full scrapbook at the end, travel with my sister Michele. Health needs and back pain have made her a great scenic traveler…besides the fact that she’s just better at enjoying the journey than I am.

Ask Michele the best part of a trip, and she’ll answer “the journey.”

Ask me? “Destination, for sure!”

Sometimes Michele and I have traveled together. Often, in fact. Those were memorable trips.

  • There’s the time we pulled the car over and hiked two miles along interstate 40 in Kansas eating sandwiches as we walked.
  • There’s the time we stopped at a Russell Stover outlet store and ate chocolate until we were sick. (Of course, that was when we were much younger. We wouldn’t be so foolish now.)
  • There’s the time we met the very nice couple at a McDonald’s stop who didn’t mind that one of us hit their parked car. (That particular stop wasn’t exactly in my itinerary for the trip.)
  • And one time, when Michele kindly handled my travel arrangements, I even had the fortune of spending the night in the home of someone who wondered “Now, how is it that we know you?” (Sort of an awkward moment.)

But if there is one thing I have learned (even if it was by force) from traveling with Michele, it is that the journey can actually be quite enjoyable. All things considered, enjoying the journey is far better than barreling toward a destination with no notice of the scenery along the way.

The miles I have traveled with Michele have changed me some. I am quicker to stop and more prone to plan for an enjoyable journey. But I haven’t completely conceded my focus on the destination.

I now believe they are both important. What fun is a journey without a destination? And what stress is worth a destination without a journey?

Thankfully, God made our journey of life such that it can be enjoyable!

…nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy—1 Timothy 6:17

But the journey isn’t always picturesque and cheery. Sometimes it includes hiking through the prairie. Or long stretches of flat desert that seem to have no end. Or being stuck by the side of the road waiting for help to arrive. Or wreckage. Or directional questions with no easy answers.

At these points in the journey, the greatest joy is not the journey—but remembering the destination.

These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly that they seek a country. And truly, if they had been mindful of that country from whence they came out, they might have had opportunity to have returned. But now they desire a better country, that is, an heavenly: wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God: for he hath prepared for them a city.—Hebrews 11:13–16

Regardless of the highs and lows on the journey, there is a joyful destination for every child of God.

The journey can be enjoyable, but the destination is the best!