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It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end.

Ernest Hemingway
F orgive my single-mindedness. These weeks are consumed with the final stages of our move to St. Bernadette’s. As we close-in on this milestone, I’m flooded with thoughts on the road to this point. The unlikely aligning of interests and objectives as well as the winding path to a conclusion. The path has been riddled with the motley collaboration of diverse parties to reach a mutual end. Amazingly, the convergence of diverse interests is only one piece of this curiously complex puzzle.

The word “unlikely” echoes in my head, repeating itself in a chorus of introspection. Such is the way of many of the arrivals we experience. Conclusions to excursions planned and unplanned, leading us to places unimagined or imaginings so changed that we hardly recognize them from the days of those first steps. Looking back, we wonder how we ever arrived in this place.

The beginning edge of this new year seems an appropriate place to revisit the notion of the journey in the context of a lifetime. Our lives are truly unlikely – miracles on display in seemingly random and and not-so-random events munged into one chunk of existence. When we unravel that chunk, the long road of our journey unfurls in a cosmic dot-to-dot tracing our life in its own constellation. Each point appearing ever more unlikely as the overall image comes into focus. And suddenly, it doesn’t look so arbitrary.

Buried deep in the uncut forests of our own journey, it is easy to feel lost and unsure. In a world of infinite directions, the correct path can seem elusive. Yet, the mistakes we make along the way seem to conspire with our better choices to bring us to exactly that place we are supposed to be. The roads we chose magically move us along in ways we don’t expect, leading us to the self we are meant to be. Almost always in spite of our best efforts.

Along the way, we begin to tune-in to the mystery of it all. We find our inner Forrest Gump embracing a bit of destiny and a bit of feather-floating as we move between those milestones that mark our way. Each inflection point an intersection of our choices and the broader plan for our life. Every step forward a reflection of the person we were and the one we’re still trying to become.

You read this post today with an array of choices sitting in front of you: how you spend your time, who you invest-in, what you love, who you avoid, what you eat, where you go. Such freedom is an incredible gift. And a heavy burden. The great responsibility of how you spend your life is yours alone. Where you choose to journey and who you choose to be along the way are the most important decisions you face. And they have to be made every day.

The good news is that you are not alone on your journey. We are not meant to sojourn in isolation. In the midst of our freedoms, our burdens are made to be shared. This is a comforting thought. We are also not expected to be perfect. Another comforting thought. Fortunately, we are built to forgive and to be forgiven.

With that in mind. Strike out along your way. Walk boldly toward your next waypoint. Dream big but be prepared to adjust to new realities. Know that you will feel fear but that courage is also within you. Realize that you will encounter failure but trust in redemption. Remember that others will let you down but are gifting you with the opportunity to forgive. This day is here and it belongs to you.

Where will you go next?