Enjoying the process
Some exciting as well as challenging things are happening in my life, and I am anxious to see how they will eventually pan out.
But a very wise friend of mine admonished me to relax and "enjoy the process" as things unfold and reminded me of the importance of stopping and taking time to "smell the roses" along the way. My pastor once said that there is a reason why the present moment is called "present." Every moment is God's gift to be treasured and enjoyed. Oh, how I easily forget that.
As a UCLA football and basketball fan, and I try to watch every game from start to finish. During one of our usual fights for the remote control in our teenage years, my sister blurted out, "why can't you just watch the news and get the final score" to which I rolled my eyes in dismay.
It's how the game is played out, I tried to reason with her. The players involved, whether the ball is moved through the air or on the ground, the quarterback's poise and leadership under pressure, the linemen in the trenches, the intracacies of play calling by the coaches, and a host of sub-plots taking place on the field from kick off to the final whistle. Most sports fans know that the "process" involving how the drama unfolds throughout the game is why we like to watch and play sports, not just the final score. Two games with the identical score can be a world apart from each other in terms of drama and excitement.
Nobody likes to hear the conclusion of a movie or a novel without having watched or read it from the very first page, so why should life be any different? I personally cannot get enough of The Two Towers in the Lord of the Rings triology. Put a copy of it near me, and I will make a reflex lunge to it and get lost in it for the umpteenth time. Frodo's journey through the treacherous terrains of Emyn Muil. The appearance of Gallum. The fate of the Middle Earth hanging in the balance as Saruman's powerful army descends on Helm's Deep with the overwhelming show of force. The rapidly thickening plot through the many setbacks and deaths. Ah the drama! The courage from unlikely heroes. And this is the second of the triology. And it still has me riveted.
At times, I may not necessarily like the ending of a movie, but I often walk away savoring certain aspects of it such as the acting, memorable quotes, character development, poignent moments, etc. Likewise, many things in my life do not conclude in ways I like, but I am still entitled to treasure the aspects of the process and use them as sources of enrichment.
This poem sums up the perils of living in the future really well.
First I was dying to finish college and to start working.
Then I was dying to get married to have children.
And then I was dying for my children to grow up
so that I could go back to work.
And then I was dying to retire so that I might finally do
all the things I had always wanted to do.
And now I am retired and I am dying...
and suddenly I realize that I forgot to live.