I begin today a little more refreshed than yesterday–and certainly more well fed. That’s one of the things about a business trip: other than the airport, there is generally a lot of good food around. There’s lunch with the people you only see a couple of times a year but talk with on the phone a lot. It is always nice finding new places to eat and looking forward to your trip next year so you can eat there again.
I also start the day a little less philosophical than yesterday.
Somehow, trips always get me thinking about life: how I am living mine, the purpose of it and where we all fit into what is going on around the world.
How often do we think about the plight America’s family farmers or even really care. Not that we don’t care–it just seems we are all so wrapped up in our own journeys, our own trials and tribulations that we have very little room in our minds life to share it with any of the world’s problems. We all have our own bills to pay; families to take care of and so forth.
So, as I am on a business trip and slightly out of my box, I begin to think about life and the purpose and meaning of it as it relates to me and those that pass me by in the aiports and other places I find myself in.
If you think that all of that deep stuff went away when we graduated from high school–think again. It is right there under the surface of our everyday experience. We have really just gone on to other pursuits–filling our days with work, church, family, recreation and other stuff that in retrospect seems all to ordered and familiar.
However, when you find your self thinking that you have fewer years to go than those you have already lived, your perspective begins to shift. The goal really is to finish well–to have left no stone unturned as they say.
It is like that old story, the one that goes like this: when you are on your death bed, you are not going to think that you didn’t spend enough time at the office–you are going to think about your family and friends and the paths that you didn’t choose rather than the ones that you did.
So the goal seems to be, before we reach that destination, to make whatever changes that need to be made to get us to where we want to be. It is like the ship out on the open sea–it has to keep calibrating all the time in order to get to where it needs to be. This is where books and friends and husbands and wives come in–vehicles to be used to help us keep on course or to provoke us to change direction if they see we are going in another direction than the one that will be beneficial.
Cut to the chase: as my mind wondered about all of this and my place in the greater reality of planet earth, one thought rose to the top of the mind-pile. It is the first of 97 statements collected in what is called:
The Westminster Larger Catechism
with question one stating:
What is the chief and highest end of man?
and the Answer: Man’s chief and highest end is to glorify God, and fully to enjoy him forever.
So, where we fit into all of this has very little to do with where we work or attend church. Whether low fat foods are better for you or not. What kind of car you drive or the clothes you wear. Whether you like jazz or country western music.
In Ecclesiastes the author tells us that after going to the excess in all things in order to find the meaning of life, his conclusion is that any endeavour without God is vanity and striving after wind. In other words, without value and will yield no lasting benefit.
There is more I could say today, but the laptop computer I am typing on is getting heavy and my mind is beginning to wander.
The ride is still on and the rest of the journey is before me–in front of me–right here and right now.