One day while picnicking up on the Ocoee River we journeyed over to the Whitewater lodge and was browsing around the gift shop, when I came across a tee shirt with the quote “The journey is the destination”, ever since the it has become one of my favorite quotes. It has become the prime statement and example of my life and many others that I have met over the years.
Those that know me well all know that I am a Star Trek fan, just look at the banner for my blog and you can see where the inspiration for it came from. I have watched a lot of Trek in my day; it’s not only about space exploration sci-fi, but from its inception every episode deals with society’s issues. Up until this year I had not read any of the Star Trek books, I am now just half way through Star Trek Federation by Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens. In Part 1 chapter 13 we gain more insight into the mind of Captain Picard, the Captain of the Enterprise 1701-D who has a deep interest in archaeology which fuels his desire for discovery.
There are times when words on a page can take on a life of their own, they cause you to stop think and take notice of your life around you. From its inception that was the goal of Star Trek; though on its surface it looks like just another TV show/movie, but its creator, Gene Roddenberry wanted people to examine life’s issues and strive for a better humanity.
In the book Federation as stated above we are given a bit more insight into the mind of Captain Picard, “Privately, Picard was of the mind that it was far better to discover than to be given them.” The, ‘them’ in the statement is referring to an earlier statement in the same chapter, “…the much desired promise that somewhere in the void the answers to all questions were waiting to be found, if only the seekers were worthy.”
Even though Captain Picard is a fictional character his built in mind set follows a Torah principle found in Proverbs.
Proverbs 2:1-5 My son, if you receive my words, and treasure my commands within you, so that you incline your ear to wisdom, and apply your heart to understanding;
Yes, if you cry out for discernment, and lift up your voice for understanding, if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will understand the fear of the Hashem, and find the knowledge of God.
The above passage is full of journey references, “seek, search and find” – as in the life of the fictional character Captain Picard, his belief was that when seeking answers it was best to discover them rather than to just be given an answer.
Why is it better to seek and find the knowledge of God like a hidden treasure better than just given it as a free gift?
Torah Judaism has teaching called “The Bread of Shame”, the basic understanding of this is, when a person receives something they did not earn they are guilty of eating the bread of shame. This is another area where Christianity and Torah Judaism separate – in Christianity they believe in the free gift of eternal salvation paid for by someone else on everyone’s behalf; meaning that to have eternal salvation you just have to believe in what someone else did for you and you yourself do nothing but believe – born again believers have nothing vested in their salvation. Basically a whole religion based on being guilty of eating the bread of shame – when Israel was freed from slavery they were not just given freedom as a free gift, they were brought to Mount Sinai to serve God as part of their being freed from slavery. Another case in point is found in Genesis 2:15 where God brought man into the Garden in essence giving it to him, the man had to work it and guard it.
So now we see that from the beginning that God’s goodness is found in the fact that He wants us to work, earn and discover Him on our own.
The Torah is deep and layered just like the earth; you will not find all its treasures in one spot. The Creator designed it to be studied generation after generation; to seek out and find the knowledge of God hidden within it.
The creation itself is used by God as a curtain that He hides behind, the more we look into it we find His knowledge in how the creation works.
Those things in life that sought after, striven for and discovered are the ones most cherished.
When you set out to find an answer to a question or problem it becomes part of you; you will cling to it and cherish it more than if you had been given it without any effort.
It is in the journey that you will find the knowledge of God – it is in the journey you will find your walk with your Creator.
We then can conclude that by design of the Creator, truly, “The journey is the destination.”
Terry W. Hayes