I am beginning to capture the essence of the pursuit.
Pursuit is not merely chasing something that you’ve longed for. It can be, and it is often rewarding when you reach the end of the journey. Recently, though, I have begun to re-evaluate the pursuit, to see it in a completely different light, and to recognize the central role that it plays in our lives.
It started with my wife.
As is the case with most couples, we faced a shifting landscape – from a love filled with dates, and flowers, and sappy love songs composed on a whim at the piano to one filled with an understanding that one of us usually takes the trash out and sometimes she really does have a headache.
There is a falsehood that many couples begin to believe and that is that the pursuit ends with “I do.” One lavish ceremony marks with near laser precision that transition between passion and tolerance.
We say that God is an infinite universe of knowledge and depth and love and that we are created in His image. If that is true, how can we so decidedly declare that we have reached the end of what it is to know another human being? Each of us are creatures of infinite worth and value and mystery. There is no end to what there is to know.
And so the pursuit.
It never ends.
We get so enthralled with a perceived end that we miss the excitement of the pursuit.
This is not just true with romantic relationships. It’s true of every pursuit of value that I can think of.
There is no end to the spiritual realm, for example. It weaves and twists and turns and while there may be a trajectory towards some ultimate reality, the pursuit always goes on. At the end there may be a truth that we’re pursuing but each experience along the ways forms us, molds us, and makes our path unique.
The pursuit is the point. It translates as “I still care. I’ve not figured it all out. I’m not so proud as to think that THIS way, MY way, is THE way. The pursuit is where we feel life with it’s joy and it’s sorrow and pain and frustration and meaning.
No one ever says, “Remember when we finished our trip? Remember when it was all over?”
They say things like:
“Remember when we took that wrong turn and got lost in New Jersey?”, or…
“Remember when we found that awesome little mexican place where we had the best tacos of our lives?”, or…
“Remember when we first drove north into Virginia and saw those amazing views for the first time?”
I would argue that you don’t make memories by arriving. They aren’t given out as your trip comes to an end.
It’s important to visualize goals – to reach for something of worth. But the goal is never the point, or the reward. It merely orients us towards something. It gives us a direction, a trajectory, a launching pad.
Life is lived, relationships are forged, meaning is discovered, pain becomes teacher, loss becomes gain on the journey. It is the pursuit that matters.
The pursuit is the point.