Enjoying the Journey

Story time!

Last night we had a meeting with our graduating class to discuss our school and what it is doing well and how it could improve. As with any good meeting involving college students, we were bribed with food. More specifically, pizza. I gladly accepted the bribe and made my way to the meeting.

Now, in order to understand this story, you have to know that I have a chronic lung disease. I was having a particularly rough day. Walking slowly felt like sprinting to my lungs, so I took every chance I could to take a break, including riding the elevators at our school (which I do every day).

Well, earlier that day, I had taken a ride up our newer elevator to the library. It decided to start going up before the doors were closed, which was a little freaky, but it quickly realized its mistake and stopped. I was grateful, because I wasn't in the mood to be stuck on an elevator.

Cue the meeting for pizza a couple of hours later. I still was feeling miserable, but I was really hungry, so the pizza seemed like a fair trade off for my lungs to think they ran a marathon to get there. Per usual, I took the elevator (a different one, mind you). This elevator always smells... unique. Some kind of delightful concoction of dead possum, bad perfume, and body odor. Spending more than a minute on it most likely shortens your lifespan by years (my unofficial guess; experiments are pending). 

As usual, I parted ways with my wife as she climbed the stairs and I waited for the slowest elevator on earth. It eventually arrived, I stepped in, hit the button to go up, and was off to the...

And then, all of a sudden, everything stopped.

The elevator was silent. No movement. Thankfully, the light was still on inside of it, but it was definitely stuck.

Now, granted, odds would favor the fact that if anyone at our school was to get stuck in the elevator, it would be me. I'm a glutton for punishment, I suppose. But seriously?

Not cool, sketchy elevator. Not cool.

I promptly called my wife to address two concerns:

Concern One. She had to get me some pizza. I had no idea what the food situation was like, and college students can be like ravenous wolves around free pizza, so I had to ensure that my time in the elevator wouldn't be for naught. I realize my priorities may appear to have been a little confused here, but I assure you that it made sense at the time. In fact, it still makes sense.

Concern Two. "Oh, yeah. Hey, while you're stealing a box of pizza for me, could you let someone know that I'm stuck in the elevator. No biggie."

All I hear after that point is a huge ruckus in the background as my wonderful wife is trying to find someone who might actually be able to do something about my unfortunate plight. She eventually tells me that she's told someone, and then we say goodbye. And no, we didn't say "I love you," just in case the elevator was the death of me.

We're terrible married people.

At this point, my lungs were reminding me why I took the elevator in the first place. So I quickly sat down, because I had no clue how long I would be in that wretched box. And as I sat, I realized how weird it is to actually sit on an elevator. It's like the epitome of laziness. But there I was, just chillin', really craving some pizza while sitting on the ground of the elevator.

Like I told my wife, no biggie.

Some of my funnier classmates decided to pay the elevator a visit. One of our friends, in particular, decided to "coach" me through escaping. She failed miserably, but it made for a good laugh (though I realized that laughing may be detrimental at that point - there's no telling how bad inhaling the air from the elevator is for your health). 

And so, that's why you're reading a post that I'm writing from an elevator shaft!

Just kidding. 

I got out. But being stuck in there overnight seemed like a better story. Forgive me.

Moral of the story? Well, I'm sure there's one hidden in there about riding elevators and the importance of climbing stairs, but that's beside the point. I think, more than anything, what I took away from this adventure was this:

The destinations we seek are often not the point of it all. It's the journey itself that often teaches us the most. 

It's during the transition that we become who we are. And really, when aren't we in transition? Right now, we're about to move. We're also about to graduate. And we're about to find a new church home. And we're about to make new friends. And ultimately, we're about to start a new life.

And while it sounds like an awful place to be - really, who enjoys the road trip more than the destination? - we are making the most of our moments "in between." And even as I prepare to sing in a choir program about heaven, I think this applies in the same way and ties into our mission/theme/goal here at Life Before the Bucket: "Living life to the fullest - every single day."

I most likely will remember nothing about the meeting we had last night. I might remember that it involved pizza, but that's about it. What I will remember is the trip there.

It's easy to skim over the transitions in our lives, hoping to get to the next big event or the next meeting or even just the next day. But it's often not the destinations that make the best memories - it's the trip there that builds character and allows us opportunities to grow and become the people we want to be.

Today, choose to be present, regardless of whether or not you've arrived where you want to be. Enjoy the journey, even if it takes longer than you'd like. And make the most out of the unexpected. You'll never know what great memories you could be creating if you never give life a chance to make them.

... ... ...

Questions: What transitions are you in the middle of right now? How do you handle the "in between" times? What are some of your favorite road trip memories?

Did you enjoy this post? If so, I'd appreciate you subscribing to Life Before the Bucket and sharing it with your friends. Thanks a million for reading!

image credits - moiseg, arinas74 - sxc.hu


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