A while back, I wrote about being laneless in Lagos with a note to self to be careful when I think I’m doing well because I could fall flat on my face as easily as anyone else. My cousin – who writes here – commented that she thought more along the lines of focusing on ones own life when she read my story. I thought that was interesting. And the more I thought about it, the clearer it became: Life is a trip!
Think about it. We live our lives with a certain goal, or set of goals, in mind. Many of us believe that we are born with a purpose and must work towards fulfilling that purpose. The Christian faith teaches us that God has a book, in which he has written down all our days (and our activities too) with the expectation that us – and everyone else – will play our unique part so that we can all build up to an expected end. In other words, each one of us is on a trip (or if you like, journey or voyage or pilgrimage) and each one is us is going to a unique place on a unique mission.
Logically, each one of us has her coordinates and route maps programmed into her own control device. And we must consult the device regularly to stay abreast of the plan and follow it as closely as possible. Think about the airport or the train station. You may run into someone you know, but it’s not likely that you’ll change your trip plan and go to a different city than planned just because you ran into someone that was going there. Even if you got news that your intended city could not be accessed in the usual manner, the smart thing would be to find an alternative route. Right?
Or let’s say you’ve been sitting at the gate waiting to board a plane headed to Melbourne, Australia and in the time you’ve been sitting there, three flights to London have been boarded and have departed. Will you get start to feel sad and compare yourself to those who have gone to London? Will you change your mind and head to London even if you’re holding a boarding pass that says ‘Melbourne Australia’? That won’t make any sense, unless of course you weren’t really keen on going to Melbourne, you’ve just – that very second – been invited to tea with Her Majesty, the Queen, and are balling out of control. You’ll just wait for your flight to be called, get on the plane and go your way. Even if your flight is delayed and you’re upset that they’re wasting your time, you’ll sit and wait for it.
I’m learning that life is a journey – I personally like to think about it as a road trip – and on this trip, I need to keep my eyes on my own lane and follow the instructions from my control device, otherwise, lanelessness is not the worst thing that could happen to me.