Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Journey

I read somewhere that there are basically two types of people: the destination-driven and the journey-driven.  The first tend to take the fast lane because they’re goal-oriented and just want to get where they’ve going in life without stopping to lollygag or take time to smell the roses. 

The latter tend to savor the present moment and seize each new day as it comes.  These take little thought for the future and focus more on the here and now rather than on their destination.

Which type are you?  Destination-driven?   Or journey-driven?

The Journey

Don’t apologize for being strange
and preferring the back roads to
the fast lane.  Besides, it’s safer
to shun the interstate with its fury

of traffic in a hurry to get somewhere,
somehow, if it means pushing you
out of the way.  Better any day to hit
the narrow ribbon of road where no

one behind you is cursing a bitter
stream of words or slamming his horn
in anger as you meander along at your
own pace, humming “Fields of Gold”

with Sting on the radio, while eyeing a
peaceful landscape with its sequence
of sights changing shape as in dreams:
Spanish moss draped over trees like

bearded giants soon become a tower
of pines.  Grazing cows give way to a
barn darkened with age, steepled by
a weather vane.  Clothes hung out on

a line to dry remind you of days long
gone.  A pond of ducks catches your
eye, slows you down to forty, then
thirty-five.  But what the heck, you

think, there’s no real hurry.  You’ll
make it in plenty of time without
worrying, and if you don’t, no sweat.
You’re just grateful for the journey.

 I’ve always enjoyed Sting’s original version of “Fields of Gold,” but I think I like Eva Cassidy’s just as much, if not more.  Eva enjoyed her journey too, but has now reached her destination.     

So which type are you?  Destiny-driven?   Or journey-driven?  Or some of both?

“The Journey” received a poet laureate award, as finalist, from the NC Poetry Society. 


  1. I think I tend to be a little of both, if that's possible. But I'm probably more destination driven.

  2. i used to be more destination- than journey-driven. the former made every single day of my life seem meaningless because everything i do is goal-driven. then i figured out that i've wasted more than 20 years of my life focusing about being able to achieve those goals and end up getting frustrated when i fail. because of this, i've had depression for six years, which got worst last year so i had to stop school for a few months to have therapy and help myself recover. and since then, i shifted to being more journey-driven. forgiving myself for failing and moving on became easier for me since then. it also made me more optimistic about life. i can also see more meaning in my life right now so i feel happier and more thankful.

    wonderful post, Debra! God bless!

  3. I think I'm basically more journey driven.I did try to pretend to be destination driven and it didn't work out - for which I'm glad. We truly miss all the fun of the journey when we focus only on reaching the destination!

  4. Great post!
    I used to be very destination driven but over the past year I have been forced to slow down my life quite considerably and appreciate the path of journey driven much more. I think the best is living a life that is a combination of being both journey and destination driven. The difficulty of course is how much of each one.

  5. @ Lisa - it is quite possible to be both, and to maintain a balance.

    @ Irene – great personal testimony of how you overcame depression. I know that through your own experience you’ll help others triumph over despair as well.

    @ Corinne - same here. As important as “arriving” is, we don’t want to miss the joys of getting there.

    @ Aaron – has being forced to slow down given you new perspective in life? Helped you to turn inward more?

  6. I think I have mostly been journey driven,but with the changing face of things that are going on in this world,I am begining to focus on preparing for what the future holds.Blessings jane

  7. I'm journey driven....with a bit of worrying thrown in just for good measure! :) The past 2 years I've really concentrated on being in the moment more (harder than it sounds!). My life is richer when I do that. Is that your poem? It's beautiful!! I agree about Eve Cassidy...such a huge talent. Miss her.
    Thanks for posting this.
    Be blessed~

  8. In my humble opinion, life would be more fulfilling if one practises both destinationpdriven and journey-driven, depending on situation..:)

  9. Journey driven... and even more so now since reading Ann Voskamp's book One Thousand Gifts!

  10. @ Jane – “Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.” Do you happen to know who said that?

    @ Kristi – my life is richer too when I seize the day and try to make every ephemeral moment count. “The Journey” is my poem; and many thanks!

    @ Isabelle – good point: both are needed. Like “being still and still moving…”

    @ Rachel – I have One Thousand Gifts too, but haven’t yet started it. Still catching up on other books. I think we have the same philosophy of life though.

  11. I get sidetracked on my journey a lot. And it's on those side roads where I find the most remarkable things..

    Cheers A

  12. I'm a bit of both. I find absolute clarity and value in moseying down the road, pausing to chat with neighbors, studying the complexities of a wildflower, or the elegant fingerprint of the bark of a tree. Other moments, I'm focused and driven and cut straight to the heart of a task. I once took a test that shows if we're more left or right brain oriented, and the results indicated that I'm balanced brained. Sounds like a horrific brain injury, doesn't it?! I took the test several more times to make sure the results were correct, and I did it on a computer that spit out a different set of questions each time so that it wasn't possible to "fake out" the program. Balanced brained, every single time. This means I generally can see both sides of the coin in any given situation. And I like that about myself. Loved this post, Debra! :)

  13. @ Alejandro – the best part of a road trip to me is stopping at those out-of-the-way places and browsing for odd treasures. Wonder why they’re generally found off the beaten path.

    @ Dawn – your descriptions of moseying down the road are pure poetry… LOL! Balance-brained! Don’t I wish? I’ve often suspected that my left brain is in a coma. Seriously. Wonder what I’d have made on that test. I shudder to think :(

  14. Debra I love this post and like you I love and still love Sting's version but am liking this newer version.
    I am a bit of both depending on the phase in my life. Both have their ups and downs for the moment I know I am on a destination driven phase. The time I get away is when I am on my journey just being......

  15. Very thought provoking blog, am I ever glad to be connected!...following you back from Greenacre : )

  16. It's funny you bring this topic up Debra... I've been contemplating something similar quite a lot as of late.

    For most of my young adult life, I was absolutely destination-driven. It was all about getting to the goal, not really about the path taken. In 1999 when my first son was born, he was diagnosed with a rare and very serious disease which threatened to take him from us. Through the terrifying uncertainty of working through his illness and experiencing life from a completely different focus, my priorities and perspective were altered in ways that I'm still discovering.

    In the end, I can say that I've very much learned that the journey is at least as important as the end-game. If we rush to fulfillment, we miss so many Blessings and Enlightenments to be noted and appreciated along the way.

    Thank you for a lovely, thoughtful post. :-)

    Have a Blessed Day!

  17. That is a great way of looking at it!

  18. Hmmm I guess it depends on the day :) LOL I tend to bounce from one to the other, depending on my mood. I want to be the journey girl but I have goals to accomplish too :) This song always makes me feel sad.

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  19. Beautiful post Debra. I think I am a bit of both. I have always been curious about people that we pass along on our way to a destination. I wonder what their lives are like, their joys and sorrows, their troubles, how they are coping with it.

  20. I'm destiny driven in that I'm looking toward my eternal home, and sometimes the day to day struggles of this life make me long for that home. At the same time, I know that God has a purpose in the path that he takes each of us on, and so I try to make the best of the journey he has for me.

  21. @ Savira - Sting’s original version is hard to beat. But Eva does such a beautiful rendition. Bon voyage mon amie!

    @ Laura – Thank you, and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day!

    @ Phather Phil – priorities and perspectives are sure to drastically shift in the face of a life-threatening illness like your son’s. This must have been a frightening ordeal for your family to say the very least. Faith, no doubt, has grown by leaps and bounds these past 11 years. And you have become who you are because of it: a man of great wisdom and depth.

    I grew up in a church that focused solely on the destination. Everything was about tomorrow. The only thing to live for was the sweet by and by.

  22. At one time I was destination but now it is all about the journey. ON the Fast lane you miss all the beauty.. Plus the rest areas :)

  23. @ Justin – thanks!

    @ Mel – which mode are you in today, destination or journey? Be by later.

    @ Rimly – same here. There’s often a reason why we meet these people along the way.

    @ Deborah – Same perspective here. Balancing the blessed hope with my purpose for being here.

    @ Jim - You are milking this journey for all it’s worth and capturing the glories along the way.

  24. Deborah,
    It has changed my perspective dramatically. I have found that things that once were once of the utmost importance are no longer that important anymore and new things have become more important to me

  25. I am definately process driven. It's all about the journey. But I do need to concern myself with the destination a little more than I do. Otherwise one never reaches their goal.

  26. Beautiful poem, Debra. The joy of life is all through it. Also, I really like Eva's version of the song, thanks for sharing it.

    At heart, I am a destination type--I am god-awful impatient--but the fates have determined that I must settle into the journey. That is not always comfortable for me. I have achieved many goals in my life but instead of being content, I immediately move on to the next goal, which I never seem to reach fast enough, if I reach it at all. And there's always more than one thing going on at a time. But aside from feeling I am forced to wait, there is a part of me who enjoys the journey, who stops to smell the roses. At this stage of my life, though, I just have the feeling that I can't stay long, I have to keep moving, get where I'm going ...

  27. I definitely am a journey driven person who occasionally loses her way while stopping to smell the flowers:) And i love Fields of Gold - Sting version. Lovely post,Debra

  28. A warm and uplifting post. Thanks for sharing.

  29. I loved the poem, thanks so much for sharing that! I am definitely a journey-driven person. I find great peace and purpose when in the present moment savoring every sense and every second. The journey to me in a way is the destination for it's the experiences along the way that build my spiritual and experiential foundation that mean the most to me.

  30. I was totally goal driven for a long while. It took the loss of my sister to get me to re-evaluate, and now enjoy the journey, and what each day can bring

  31. Journey - always. What does the destination matter when the journey is beautiful. What a fantastic post Debra. Just loved being here as usual...

  32. Journey--for sure! I have to make myself set goals though otherwise I'd never get anywhere for enjoying where I am!

  33. I am definitely Journey-driven, enjoy the anticipation of reaching the destination and let it build up gradually. Lovely post, Debra.

  34. @ Suspended soul – Enjoy the journey while you’re on your way!

    @ Sweepy Jean - we are no strangers to the joys of writing. Being the destination type does make it harder to wait for goals to be achieved. We send the work out…. we wait - send and wait. And success just spurs us on. So the cycle never ends. Meanwhile, do you find blogging to be a rewarding venue for your writing?

    @ whatstruckme – life is good, and lingering over the flowers is worth it:)

    @ Simon – Thank you!

    @ Jessica – fellow sojourner, your posts reflect this so well.

    @ Larry - losing my beloved brother taught me to make every moment count too.

    @ Kriti – still celebrating with the champagne?

    @ laughwithus – Good point! I’ll remind myself from time to time.

    @Sulekkha - True: both the journey and the anticipation of arrival are joys.

  35. Beautiful blog..and an equally beautiful post...I guess I am a combination of both..basically I am in a situation in life,where I am so unsure of every thing..

  36. A great post that left me thinking a bit,and found I am basically journey driven,travelling and enjoying at every halt,getting newer experiences.Destinations comes and goes. I am travelling happily and merrily..ha..haa.
    Come and visit mine,will love to have your scholarly comments.

  37. Some of both, I guess. Depends on the situation. Life sometimes makes you destination driven....though the journey is probably more interesting!! Nice post Debra!


    i have always been fascinated on the journey that each one of us takes... i could be both at times... but my heart always takes its own course ;)...

    wonderful post debra :)

  39. I think I have moments of being both... although I am currently working on being *Journey Driven*! Lovely post...

    Returning the blog love and happily following back!


  40. I think I'm guilty of being destination-driven... I blame it on too much excitement... I'm working hard to improving my kind of drive though. I'm thinking I should apply both...;) Thanks!

    P.S. I love your poem! :))

  41. @ Motifs - Been there too, in those uncertain situations. But know that this too shall pass.

    @ Royal – Happy travels… and I’ll be over ASAP.

    @ Swati – True; it does depend on our situation and season of life.

    @ Melissa – “my heart always takes its own course...” yes indeed. Thank you for “the journey” by Lea Salonga. Beautiful blessing!

    @ Cyn - moments of both here too; and thank you for the blog love:)

    @ Jorie – my wayfaring friend, while on “the long and winding road” it seems you do apply both :)

  42. Love your blog and am nominating you for an award :-)

  43. Beautiful Poem! So poignant, and I found myself slowing down as I was reading along (at full-speed at first!).

    I am a journey-girl, no question. That is my true nature, where I find most happiness, and how my spirit and creativity comes to life. But my excitement for life and to experience everything all at once puts me on the fast track lots of the time! I'm learning that there is a balance, and to search for my truth in those moments. That helps me to see what's at the source of my actions, and then I can choose from there.

  44. I am new to your blog. This post really made me stop and think. I like the slow lane so I can stop and smell the flowers. I guess I have times of both destination and journey.

  45. I'm a journey driven guy. Although I am no realizing - finally - that the journey really is the destination. Dream of the future - utilize the present - do not dwell in the past. Your words – they are so good to read – I heart your words.

    May God Bless and Keep you and all of yours this day

  46. Your blog is a calming, empowering harbor for my soul. Beautifully written and nurturing. I found you through Tatty Tiara and I am a follower! As the Govanator said, "Ah'll be back!"

  47. @ pamanner - thank you so much! I commented on your site, asking “which award is this?”

    @ the spirit that moves me – I have to make myself deliberately slow down too:) It’s a worthwhile practice to be unhurried and to contemplate what is right before our eyes. And yes, it’s where our creativity incubates: in the leisurely moments when we’re not on the fast track.

    @ Aliene – Welcome! I just went over and found Meditations and Memories, and will return soon.

    @ Craig – “the journey really is the destination” is an attention-grabbing line. When we dream of the future and don’t dwell in the past… that only leaves the here and now. I heart your words always – yes, always.

    @ HumorSmith - hi fellow eccentric :) Ah’ll be right over.

  48. Lovely poem. I am one or the other at one moment or the other, and both or neither at very special moments...Found you at Kristen's 'The Spirit that Move Me'

  49. Beautiful post! Lovely poem. I think I'm about 85% destination driven and 15% journey driven. :) Most days I'm just busy, busy, busy trying to make my desired future happen. But then I remind myself to cut it the heck out and make sure I don't miss today! :)

    Rhyme Me a Smile

  50. Hey Debra, At last I've made my way back to tell the 'Fields of Gold story' that vanished on me the other day when I hit post. First let me say how much I loved your beautiful poem and how much I enjoy reading your blog. While my kids were younger I was definitely a 'destination' person always rushing and chasing my tail. One Sunday in late March 2001, while returning home from a day trip with my mother and the children,Mum suddenly shrieked excitedly for me to stop and look at a field full of daffodils that she had spotted. It had been a long drive and the kids were fighting in the car on way home and I knew I had loads of Sunday night stuff to do so I didn't want to have to stop. But something in her voice made me pull up at the gateway to the field, which was open as the farmer was there.As we walked inside we were greeted with the glorious sight of golden flowers nodding in the breeze as they seemingly stretched towards the horizon. Mum asked the farmer could she buy a bunch and he laughed and said that we could take as many as we could carry.She was thrilled and on the way home we all marvelled when 'Fields of Gold' by Eva Cassidy played on the CD that I loved and had on auto play in the car at the time. (Number 1 album in Ireland Mar '01!) That was the day that I learned that the 'journey' and the 'now'are all that matter. Almost a year to the day on 26th March 2002 my wonderful Mum died. And now every time I hear this beautiful song I cry...with joy that I decided to stop that beautiful spring day and walk in the fields of gold.

  51. @ Kathy – Thank you and I appreciate your stopping by. I moseyed over to your place as well, and enjoyed reading the letters. Now that I know where to find you I’ll be back, and I hope you’ll do the same.

    @ Rachel – my fellow poet, you manage quite well to do both! Taking the time to write is the same to me as stopping along the journey and capturing our moments in word photos.

    @ Rosemary – what a lesson in life! All those synchronicities…. the glorious daffodils seemed to be nodding and beckoning your mother.... Then Eva Cassidy singing “Fields of Gold”….and what you learned from this moment…. simply amazing. This brought tears to my eyes, especially when I think of what delight these daffodils brought to your mother.
    Have you written this story before? Published it anywhere? I hope so, because it is priceless. Thank you so much for sharing, and for reminding us to always, always stop along the way, because you never know when it might be too late. Is this not what the journey itself teaches us?

  52. Hi Debra, The only time I wrote about it before was last week when I lost the comment the first time I tried to post it here! But it's engraved on my heart and as I have no doubt you know stories that come from the heart write themselves.That was why I was devastated when I managed to 'disappear' it into cyberspace. I felt that you had written 'The Journey' especially for me so that I could remember that day. It made me so unbelievably happy when I read it on St Patrick's day (another story for some other time ;-D ) brought back my beautiful fun loving Mum right into my heart for the day. Thank you from deep in my soul Debra.

  53. I am definitely journey driven but I used to be destination driven. It was really difficult to change and I still get moments where I just want to tick the list and move on.

  54. Debra,
    What a beautiful poem, and lovely photo. The music is pretty, too. I'm trying to take time to enjoy the journey more each day.
    I also liked your poem, "The Lost Medal" very much.

  55. @ Rosemary – Stories from the heart do write themselves. They mysteriously transcend the cerebral realm; therefore they are able to reach the depths of another’s soul – like your daffodil story. The Journey was written for you, and it came from the same place as your affecting memory.

    @ Nelieta - What made you change from destination to journey-driven? But you do still vacillate once in a while? Don't we all:) Check you later friend.

  56. I am definitely journey driven, as I've learned to slow down and honor the moments. Your writing is beautiful. Fields of Gold is one of my favorite songs, by the way. This version is stunning.

  57. @ Brenda - Enjoying the journey with you, and capturing every precious moment we have on earth with word pictures and songs.

    @ Patti, from what I read and saw at Grateful Heart, you delight in the journey, especially the spring!

  58. Hi Debra. For most of my life, I've been destination-driven. Now, I'm trying hard to go the journey route--not an easy transition.

  59. Margaret, I think you’ve reached a happy medium :) All the best with finding a good agent who will do you justice – and keep me posted!

  60. Debra, Your blog is wonderful. I'm enjoying sharing the spotlight with you! Looking forward to reading more!

  61. Eeeek - I hit some buttons on my computer and my first comment disappeared. I think it was because I was writing in support of pop quizzes. That's all - I already typed the rest - and I hate redundancy - actually I love redundancy - it helps for the pop quizzes (◠‿◠)

    God bless you Debra.

  62. Hmmmm definitely both for me! This is really a good post!

  63. I feel your pain, Craig. My comment disappeared, too.

    Debra, when I was a young man, and a new Christian, I was very "destination driven:" I think that is characteristic of young people. Then God pulled a nasty trick on me: He allowed several of my most cherished destinations to disappear: to be destroyed: to vanish without a trace, beyond unattainable, actually impossible. He left me, not with a destination where He would meet me, but with a pilgrim's confusing and lonely path - - - which He would walk with me. And He has, for forty years now.

    My only destination today is found in Phil. 3:13, 14: "forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus."

    That's enough of a destination to occupy my attentions!

    I thank you for this refreshing and eclectic blog.

  64. @ Debbie – thank you… and likewise!

    @ Craig – I’ve been there, done that :)

    @ Sheila – took a minute… hmmm… thanks!

    @ William – Hadn’t thought of destination-driven as being more common to young people, but now that you mention it, I think you’re right. God has a way of keeping us on track and right where he wants us to be, doesn’t he? Phil. 3: 13, 14 – yes indeed! And the most reassuring part of the pilgrim’s journey is that we never walk alone. Never.

  65. In young life its great to be destination driven but life happens and the destinations and dreams may have to change therefore the journey is always the most important as our destinations are and will always be fluid !
    Great poem ...hope you check mine out


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