I recently was watching the documentary 180 degree’s South it was incredible. The visuals of the natural beauty of the world were stunning, and the adventure of the film is something desirable. I was struck by a quote early in the film when Yvonne Chouinard (founder of Patagonia) said: When you compromise the process you’re and asshole when you start out and an asshole when you finish. First I laughed as the surly old guy ranted about people who use sherpas to do the heavy lifting as they climb to the summit of these breath taking mountains. Then it struck me how profound a statement this truly was.
Our western mindset has taught us to get what we want now without having to journey, or adventure to get there. The problem is that most of what is valuable about the result is what it took to get there. Its in the journey that we learn who we are and what makes us go.
I believe without doubt that whether or not you ever arrive at your destination is irrelevant, it is the journey that is of the greatest value. In the journey you learn so much about who you are, and who you are becoming. It is in the journey that we learn our greatest weaknesses how we can bolster those weaknesses into strengths. And if the journey is really good to us, we may end up where we set out to be, or we end up someplace entirely different and better.
It is my experience that any journey with out self-realization is a journey not worth taking. Most importantly I believe that our journey in life should lead us to a greater understanding of who we are in the greater meta-narrative of creation. You see there is a God who created everything that we see and this God is a loving Father who is looking to see His creation restored back to Him. Our journey is what brings us back to him. As I stated earlier it is in the journey that we discover our weaknesses, and ultimately that weakness finds strength in the Gospel. The Gospel is the proclamation of the Kingdom of God being established here on earth, that the King has come, that this good news is for the here and now not just an eventual reality. It is the good news that Jesus is ruling as King bringing the transformation of hearts and lives to our communities and the nations.
Where the Yvonne’s quote rings true in this is two fold. First, for those who don’t know about such a king, or kingdom you have to understand that this is not simply some sort of eternal insurance policy. When you say yes to Jesus as king, you are saying yes to his rule, reign and authority in your life. It is both instantaneous and progressive, but there is a process/ journey that we travel to get there. Second, there is a process to all of this, and that process is important. For those of us who have received the Gospel of the Kingdom, there is a need to be bold in our proclamation of the Gospel to see such a revolution of hearts and lives transformed. To skip this, or to look for another way is to in fact think you know something more than the prescriber, that is Jesus.
All in all if we do not journey through life and we just look only to results we become a very shallow people who never find true value in discovery. I believe that all we come to love in this life is rooted in journeying through it. And when you compromise that journey, well Yvonne said it best.