Some time ago, my son and I read a book about a dog named Seaman*. This is a Newfoundland who traveled with Lewis and Clark. The story is told from the dog’s perspective and shares writings from their journals. It was a great read. Seaman tells the story of their arrival at the point where the Columbia River meets the Pacific Coast. The story goes that Lewis and Clark named this spot Cape Disappointment because the purpose of their journey was to discover a trade route to the Indies and clearly the ocean stopped them. And they were disappointed.
Other historians say the area was name Cape Disappointment by the explorer John Meares. He was a British fur trader in search of a trade route and after encountering a storm at this cape, turned his ship around and just missed the discovery of the Columbia River and gave the cape the name Disappointment. So close and yet…
Either way, an incredibly, breath-taking spot on the coast was tagged Cape Disappointment. Standing there one day with my family, I couldn’t help but be blown away by that thought. The journey Lewis and Clark made was epic, what they did for our nation is legend and yet they ended disappointed. The destination was more important than all the discoveries and sights they had made along the way. What a sad commentary.
It could be our commentary too. Whatever our destination, wherever we believe we are headed towards, if we don’t enjoy the journey, the end could be a disappointment. I think of being healed at times as a destination – when I am healed I will… That day standing at Cape Disappointment, I knew my journey had to become more than a waiting game. I made a list of things I can do and would love to do even if I am not healed. And I purposed to be here now, pain and all, to find ways to enjoy the moments of my life to my best ability. I feel reasonably certain that I won’t do anything as epic and Lewis and Clark, but I can leave a legacy of hope and faith and offer the gift of being present with whomever I happen to be with.
When I get to the end of my journey, I would love to be able to say I counted it all joy as opposed to calling it a disappointment. What about you? Are you purposing to enjoy this present moment? Or are you living with the mindset that things will be better when________________ (fill in the blank)? What would be your bucket list of things you could do now so that the journey becomes the highlight and not a disappointment?
Father God, You who created the heavens and the earth and filled them with wonders beyond description. How it must grieve Your heart when I miss those evidences of Your love because I am awash with my own self-absorbed thoughts and plans. Open my eyes to Your wonders all along the way to the destination You have purposed for me. Help me to count it all joy. Everyday is a blessing from You, help me to use my moments and my days to Your glory and Your honor. In Jesus’ name Amen.
*It is called, “The Captain’s Dog: My Journey with the Lewis and Clark Tribe by Roland Smith