One day as I was walking through the journey of life, I came upon a group of souls. I couldn’t help but to observe them as they scattered all over, running in this and that direction. They all appeared to be looking for something, though I wasn’t sure what. When I got closer to one of them, I asked what it was that it was searching for. The soul replied, “Why purpose of course, what else is there to look for?” I pondered this answer for a bit as I continued to watch these souls scramble around in what appeared to be a growing desperation to find what they searched for. I thought it a noble thing, to search for a purpose in life, but yet the souls didn’t seem happy.
Just as I was about to question the searching soul further, I caught a glimpse of another little soul a distance away from the others. This soul was different from the rest, as it seemed joyful all the while shaking its head at the others. I strolled up to the little soul, and as I reached the place where it stood, it smiled at me. I asked, “What makes you so happy? Why do you shake your head at the others?” The little soul smiled brightly at me and replied, “What makes me happy, you ask? A great many things make me happy. Big things make me happy and small things make me happy. But what brings me the most happiness are the little moments and details in life that cannot be explained by words. I find these moments and details most enjoyable. But alas, you’d be hard-pressed to find something I don’t enjoy. LIFE is enjoyable.”
I thought about its answer, it seemed so full of contentment, but then I looked over at all the searching souls and wondered what made this little soul different. The little soul smiled simply at me, as if it knew what I was thinking. “They search and I enjoy,” it said. Wanting the little soul to explain further, I asked, “What do you mean? Don’t you want to find a purpose and place in life? Why do you shake your head at the other souls?” The little soul smiled that content smile of its and walked on a ways, until it came to the side of a brook. It motioned for me to sit beside it on a large rock, and then it proceeded to explain, “They spend most of their journey searching, while I’ve chosen to spend mine enjoying. While they search and search for what they think is missing or lacking, they end up missing all the beautiful, joyful things around them. They may make it to the finish line, but they’ll find that they have missed the journey all together. What you do or become isn’t near as important as how you got there. I choose to enjoy what’s around me, to enjoy the journey. I do what I love and enjoy. I pursue the things that I am passionate about. The purpose in life isn’t to live forever, nor is it to be something in particular. The purpose in life is to live it and enjoy it. It’s not the beginning or the end, but the journey from and to that counts.”
With a warm smile and a wink, the little soul got up and leisurely walked on down the bank, looking this way and that, being sure not to miss anything.
Now, whenever I find myself getting caught up in the searching and the end result, I remind myself of the little soul and its words of wisdom. It’s the journey that counts
~ Liz Austin 2017
Born and raised in Upstate NY, Liz is a freelance writer. She has written for websites, blogs, and magazines for the last 10 years. She works as a freelance writer and editor, as well as a proofreader and beta reader for several authors, all the while working on her first book.