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Philosophy Lite: Where are you going?

By By Raymond Smith
March 9, 2012 at midnight
Updated March 8, 2012 at 9:09 p.m.

Raymond Smith

In 1896 Henryk Sienkiewicz wrote the popular book "Quo Vadis," which translated from Latin means, "Where are you going?" Without going into the story, the title is compelling and should give all of us pause.

Life can easily be seen as a journey from one's birth to the grave. John Bunyan saw it as a pilgrimage. In his book, "Pilgrim's Progress," he tells the story of a person called Christian who is on his way to the Celestial City.

Along the way he encounters several difficulties, and a few pleasures. His faith supports him all the way and gives him strength in times of difficulty, even supporting him even when doubts assail. The book was extremely popular and should be still available today. One of the important ideas of Bunyan's book was his determination to reach that city. Though some tried to sidetrack him, he had his goal firmly fixed.

We are all on that journey, and it is helpful to look at it that way. The most productive journey is that one which is planned and purposeful. One also needs to count the cost of that trip considering the difficulties and sacrifice involved. Someone has said that man is always preparing to live, but never living.

In 1968 at the Hemisfair in San Antonio, there was a movie house that projected a story voted on by the viewers. The story began as any story would, but a few minutes into the story there came a decision point and the audience voted between two choices.

The projectionist then mounted the appropriate reel and the movie proceeded to the next decision point. There were many decisions and many reels of film. It's possible that the movie never ran the same story twice.

Are you planning the trip or are others planning it for you? I think of the times that I had a chance to bid on jobs at Lake Charles, Hondo, or even an atoll in the Pacific. It's impossible to think of how my life might have been changed.

Robert Frost's poem, "The Road Not Taken" contains these concluding lines: "Two roads diverged in a wood, and I - I took the one less travelled by, and that has made all the difference."

Where are you going? Do you have it all together? Have you taken God into account? We do not walk alone. Are you one of the few who has his life planned out or are you living day by day, taking what comes as a surprise? Believe it or not, God has a plan for your life, a plan that involves some productive work in his kingdom.

Annie Flint Johnson writes: "God hath not promised skies always blue, flower strewn pathways, all our lives through; God hath not promised sun without rain, joy without sorrow, peace without pain. But God hath promised strength for the day. Rest for the labor, light for the way, Grace for the trials, help from above, Unfailing kindness, undying love." Vaya con dios.

Raymond F. Smith is president of Strong Families of Victoria

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