An old piece of writing my homeschool days.
“Map out your future – but do it in pencil. The road ahead is as long as you make it. Make it worth the trip.” So said by the country rock star Jon Bon Jovi, this statement is true. Everyone’s life is an extensive, heavily-detailed road map. We each have one of our own: unique, colourful, and designed specifically to show us the way on and to get excited about our futures.
In the world of cartography, there are several formats as to the mapping of a location and its route. It could come in the form of a globe, an atlas, a flat survey, or an electronic screen. One of the most common types of maps is the small, single-page map. This is usually slipped into somebody’s glove box and is used to show the overview of a region’s major routes and features. It is simple, straightforward, and easy to follow. Sometimes, in a particular season, a person’s life is uncomplicated and elementary, much like the single-page, easy-to-read road map. Another format of a route plan is a folded map. This one offers greater detail than the previous and covers a larger area. Accompanying that is the electronic geographic chart that people often use on their everyday smartphones, iPhones, and iPads, for the fast-paced business workers. They can also be suited to specific features by the user. These different formats of viewing and studying maps could also attribute to the way that we see ourselves.
The three main types of road maps are highway, street, and road atlases. The first gives an overview of major routes within medium or large regions, and they can range between a few dozen to a few thousand miles or kilometres. Close to this is the street map which is often used to help navigate through towns and cities and covers only a few miles or kilometres at the most. The latter of the three is the road atlas. This is usually bound into a book because of its extensive scale and is a collection of road maps ranging from a city to an entire continent. It can also include states or provinces and is best suited for the long-haul traveller. These could all metaphorically speak for the way in which we view our lives and futures, depending on the type of lifestyles we have or the situations that we get ourselves into.
Each of us exists inside our own, living road maps. But within the cartographical features of what we do, we have two choices: to either pencil in our own route without seeing what’s around the corner, or allow God to draw the line with vivid, indelible ink. Because each of us are unique and trod our own walks in life, we individually explore the road less travelled. Our adventures may prove to be a long haul, but in the end, we all reach our destinations. The place in which we land our feet is our journey’s end. It could be temporary, it could be permanent – who knows? We could go through several road maps before we reach our intended ports of call, we could just stay on the one, familiar spot that we know, or we could dare to investigate the unknown and take little baby steps.
And there we have it. Happy travelling.