On Understanding One’s Destination

For the Seriously Planning Book Club, I’m reading a book right now called The Road to Mecca by Muhammad Asad, that so far, is a beautiful, introspective read about faith and identity. I read the following passage today and it struck me as worth noting in my digital notebook and with all of you – a powerful reminder that although it is important to live with purpose and journey in search of benefit, we ultimately can only fully understand where we are going/where we have been at the end of our travels.

But after all is there always a clearly discernible borderline between the mundane and the abstruse in life? Could there have been, for instance, anything more mundane than setting out in search of a lost camel, and anything more abstruse, more difficult of comprehension than almost dying of thirst?

Perhaps it was the shock of that experience that has sharpened my senses and brought forth the need to render some sort of account to myself: the need to comprehend, more fully than I ever done before, the course of my own life. But, then, I remind myself, can anyone really comprehend the meaning of his own life as long as he is alive? We do not know, of course, what has happened to us at this or that period in our lives; and we do sometimes understand why it happened; but our destination – our destiny – is not so easily espied: for destiny is the sum of all that has moved in us and moved us, past and present, and all that will move us and within us in the future – and so it can unfold itself only at the end of the way, and must always remain misunderstood or only half understood as long as we are treading the way.

How can I say, at the age of thirty-two, what my destiny was or is?

~The Road to Mecca, Muhammad Asad, p.50

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