Robert Hastings Essay The Stations

As soon as the doctor okayed the trip, we went to Paris and had the most beautiful vacation of our 43 years. My lovely wife passed away a year and half after the diagnosis.

I since have taken the liberty of passing copies of that column to friends.

One purchased his ``someday`` car; another went on a long-delayed trip.

But ``The Station`` also can mean visiting a sick friend, and that

``someday`` should be now.

There is so much hurt in looking back and remembering those things we intended to do and didn`t.

Thank you, Ann Landers, for Paris.

Irv Gaiptman, Plainview, N.Y.

Dear Irv: You were dear to let me know what ``The Station`` meant to your life. Here it is for all the others who haven`t as yet learned that lesson:

THE STATION

BY ROBERT J. HASTINGS

Tucked away in our subconscious is an idyllic vision. We see ourselves on a long trip that spans the continent. We are traveling by train. Out the windows we drink in the passing scene of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at a crossing, of cattle grazing on a distant hillside, of smoke pouring from a power plant, of row upon row of corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of mountains and rolling hillsides, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our minds is the final destination. On a certain day at a certain hour we will pull into the station. Bands will be playing and flags waving. Once we get there so many wonderful dreams will come true, and the pieces of our lives will fit together like a completed jigsaw puzzle. How restlessly we pace the aisles, damning the minutes for loitering-waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

``When we reach the station, that will be it!`` we cry.

``When I`m 18.``

``When I buy a new 450SL Mercedes-Benz!``

``When I put the last kid through college.``

``When I have paid off the mortgage!``

``When I get a promotion.``

``When I reach the age of retirement, I shall live happily ever after!``

Sooner or later we must realize there is no station, no one place to arrive at once and for all. The true joy of life is the trip. The station is only a dream. It constantly outdistances us.

``Relish the moment`` is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24: ``This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.`` It isn`t the burdens of today that drive men mad. It is the regrets over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and fear are twin thieves who rob us of today.

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, climb more mountains, eat more ice cream, go barefoot more often, swim more rivers, watch more sunsets, laugh more, cry less. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

What are the signs of alcoholism? How can you tell if someone you love is an alcoholic? ``Alcoholism: How to Recognize It, How to Deal with It, How to Conquer It`` has the answers. For a copy, send $2.50 and a No. 10, addressed, stamped envelope (39 cents postage) to Ann Landers, P.O. Box 11562, Chicago, Ill. 60611-0562.


INSPIRATIONAL STUFF

My Two Cents

“Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety.” ~ Benjamin Franklin

     Not too long ago I was making a speech at a gathering where I shared a poem at the conclusion of my talk. Since then I’ve had lots of requests to print it out for people who want a copy and it occurred to me that this would probably be an easier way to get it to people.

I’m really not one of those people who always wants to be emotional, sentimental or even someone who reads poems but this this little piece is the exception.

Self Improvement is all about embracing opportunities and change, however, it’s also about knowing one’s limitations and keeping the bigger picture in mind (I’ve come to realise there is a bigger picture to even the most insignificant little things).

Every time I restless, irritable or discontent and I take 3 minutes out to read this, not only my mood changes but my entire state if mind becomes more at ease. Well, that’s my two cents at least. Enjoy!

~Rob W.

THE STATION

By Robert J. Hastings


    Tucked away in our subconscious minds is an idyllic vision in which we see ourselves on a long journey that spans an entire continent. We’re travelling by train and, from the windows, we drink in the passing scenes of cars on nearby highways, of children waving at crossings, of cattle grazing in distant pastures, of smoke pouring from power plants, of row upon row upon row of cotton and corn and wheat, of flatlands and valleys, of city skylines and village halls.

But uppermost in our conscious minds is our final destination–for at a certain hour and on a given day, our train will finally pull into the station with bells ringing, flags waving, and bands playing. And once that day comes, so many wonderful dreams will come true. So restlessly, we pace the aisles and count the miles, peering ahead, waiting, waiting, waiting for the station.

“Yes, when we reach the station, that will be it!” we promise ourselves. “When we’re
eighteen. . . win that promotion. . . put the last kid through college. . . buy that 450SL
Mercedes-Benz. . . have a nest egg for retirement!”

From that day on we will all live happily ever after.

Sooner or later, however, we must realize there is no station in this life, no one earthly
place to arrive at once and for all. The journey is the joy. The station is an illusion–it
constantly outdistances us. Yesterday’s a memory, tomorrow’s a dream. Yesterday belongs to a history, tomorrow belongs to God. Yesterday’s a fading sunset, tomorrow’s a faint sunrise. Only today is there light enough to love and live.

So, gently close the door on yesterday and throw the key away. It isn’t the burdens of today that drive men mad, but rather regret over yesterday and the fear of tomorrow. Regret and  fear are twin thieves who would rob us of today.

“Relish the moment” is a good motto, especially when coupled with Psalm 118:24, “This is the day which the Lord hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

So stop pacing the aisles and counting the miles. Instead, swim more rivers, climb more mountains, kiss more babies, count more stars. Laugh more and cry less. Go barefoot more often. Eat more ice cream. Ride more merry-go-rounds. Watch more sunsets. Life must be lived as we go along. The station will come soon enough.

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