Thursday, November 18, 2010

Joy in the Journey

The Goodall Girls

A man once looked upon a high mountain peak

And said, "Finally I’ll find that happiness I seek.

I’ll climb to the top and when I get there

I know I’ll be free from all my sorrow and cares.

The journey will be painful but if I endure

The reward will be worth all my investiture

For there from the top at last I will gaze

Above my life’s troubles above my soul’s haze.”

So grimacing this man began to bitterly climb

Over river and boulder from ten until nine.

And all the while he was fussy and grumpy

The weather wasn’t right and the road was too bumpy.

The path was too steep and the birds sang too loud

And occasionally there burst a stormy rain cloud.

But the man stomped on and said, scowling his best,

“I hate this journey but I am almost near the crest.”

The suddenly behind him came a voice loud and clear

‘Follow me my friends come and join me up here.”

For up climbed another man on that high mountain trail

Determined that no fellow traveler would fail.

So he helped them all out to navigate on their way

And he did so happily day after day.

This second man didn’t frown, fuss, or scowl

And he never complained when the weather was foul.

His thoughts were on others never retained on himself

His wants were all neatly put away on the shelf.

His smile was warm and his eyes they were bright

And his very presence seemed to radiate light.

He was a common man with uncommon desire

With a spring in his step and a heart full of fire.

As the first man looked out over the other

He mockingly laughed and said, “Oh Brother!

At this man’s rate he will never reach the top

He can’t help himself but to constantly stop

To help out a friend or to aid some stranger

Or to rescue some lad from an upcoming danger.”

He yelled, "Don’t you care about finishing your climb?

Don’t you count down the days and measure the time?

Till your journey is finished till you mission is done

Till you can finally relax, finally have some fun?”

The second man turned but he made no reply

But he looked at the first and he let out a sigh.

A moment later he was right back to his task

Helping out others not waiting to be asked.

And the first man continued on in his ways

Ecstatic that he only had forty seven more days

For if he finished his climb he was sure that he knew

He wouldn’t feel so hollow so constantly blue.

So without any honor and without and pep

He whined and companied up to his final step.

And gazing around he looked out from the top

Enthused that at last he could finally stop.

But alas that feeling staid for only a while

And despite his best shot he couldn’t muster a smile.

For there from the top he had nothing to do

No challenge no obstacle, just a really nice view.

He expected fulfillment, he expected relief

He expected great joy to swallow his grief

But he still had the same emptiness the same sour mood

The only real change he had made was in his altitude.

As he stood in a stupor of the time he had lost

Of the joy he had missed because he counted the cost

There emerged from behind him that second climber he saw

Whose acts of service he thought was a flaw.

This man’s hands were dirty, weathered and torn

And the clothes he was wearing were exceedingly worn.

He had lost himself but a full life he did find

In serving his fellow man with his heart, might, and mind.

This man paused for a moment and gazed back on his way

And tears filled his eyes and he did softly say,

“Goodbye my great journey, farewell my dear friends

My mission is done but memories have no end.

I have fought a good fight I have finished my course

But I have no regrets not a hint of remorse.”

That man tuned toward the first and said with a grin

“Happiness doesn’t come when you finish or win

It’s found in the journey it’s forged as you go

And only when you serve do you truly come to know

That happiness is a choice so let come what may

And love is only found when you give it away.”

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