When my son John was growing up, he, his mother Theresa, and I used to vacation in the northern Rocky Mountains of Colorado. It’s a gorgeous area and, to this day, I have many warm memories of our time there.
On one of our Colorado trips, we heard an intriguing story about Lulu City. But we could find only sketchy information on it. Apparently, Lulu City had been a gold and silver mining camp in the early 1880s, but was now a ghost town. I’ve always been fascinated by the ghost towns of our American West. So we decided to visit Lulu City.
We followed the sparse directions we were able to get, and finally ran out of paved road. There was a sign pointing toward Lulu City, down a trail passable only on foot or by horseback. The sign neglected to say how far Lulu City was.
The three of us left our car and set off down the trail. We walked a long time. Finally, Theresa got tired and said she’d stay where she was to wait for us on our return.
So off John and I went. And we walked and walked and walked . . . forever, it seemed. (Later, we calculated, with a map, the one-way walk from our car to Lulu City was about seven miles.)
We were about to give up when we saw a sign proclaiming we were entering Lulu City. Eureka — we’d finally reached our destination!
Or so we thought.
“Lulu City” turned out to be only several piles of hundred-year-old logs and rubble. It bore no resemblance to the lively mining town it had once been. We obviously had not done enough research on Lulu City.
So my son and I turned around and walked the seven-mile return trip, picking up my wife along the way. Tired though we were, the three of us decided it had been worth it.
That seven-mile trail wound through some of the most beautiful and pristine parts of Colorado’s northern Rocky Mountains. We enjoyed every moment of our time on the trail, despite the unexpectedly long trek — and the fact Lulu City really was a ghost.
We realized the joy was not in the destination — it was in the journey.
Friends, you live in an action-oriented and goal-driven society. Your modern world has lost its ability to, as you say, “smell the roses.” It’s so busily focused on the destination, it doesn’t even notice the roses, let alone take the time to smell them.
And so you drive yourselves relentlessly forward, hell-bent on accomplishing your objective. And when you accomplish your objective, reach your goal, what happens?
Well, you may enjoy it for few brief moments. And then you plunge feverishly forward again — and again and again and again . . . .
What have you accomplished?
Well, you’ve obviously reached your goals, whatever they were. But you’re so driven, you enjoy your accomplishments only briefly, if at all. And then you’re off again — often, on an endless pursuit.
But what are you pursuing? Money? Lovers? Healthy bodies? Nice homes? Fancy cars? Lots of friends? Prestige? Power? What?
We are not saying those goals are wrong. They are not — you deserve all the abundance the Universe wants to shower upon you.
We are saying the enjoyment of those accomplished desires often eludes you. You’re so caught up in the relentless pursuit, you forget what life is all about. And you don’t even enjoy the pursuit, the journey.
Life, physical or nonphysical, is a journey without destination.
Your destination is the journey. You are on an eternal journey of growth. You will never reach the end of that journey. For you will always be growing and evolving, whether in physical or spirit form. It cannot be otherwise.
There are no final destinations. Lulu City is an illusion.
So why not just enjoy the journey? Smell the roses. Immerse yourselves in all the beauty and joy of the journey.
When you reach a goal, congratulate yourselves, and enjoy it! Immerse yourselves in the pleasure and passion of reaching another step along your way. But most of all, enjoy the journey!
Then, friends, all will be well.