In 9th grade I was given this poem and to this day I have kept it. It's one of my favorites-
By Robert J. Hastings
Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyliic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip spanning the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides.
But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true and the places of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering-waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.
"When we reach the station, that will be it!" we cry. "When I'm 18." "When I have my dream job!" "When I save a million dollars!" "When I get married!"
Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.
"Relish the moment" is a good motto especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: "This is the day the lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it." It isn't the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow.
So, stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, have more late nights, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.