The Destination

Mark J. Janssen
3 min readNov 9, 2023

Think about the last time you heard someone say that it’s the journey, not the destination. When was the last time you heard someone on the television, in a podcast, on the radio or just in everyday conversation say those words? That it’s not the destination, it’s about the journey, to quote Emerson.

It is a sentence I have never believed.

Before I began to understand any of the concepts of my birth religion to any depth, I already knew that it was the destination. The journey, by the time I was in kindergarten and first grade, had already taken far too long. My experiences with my Creator, with angels and spirits, told me that I wanted to go back to the destination. What was wrong with that picture? Why was the journey already so slow, so long at ages five or six? Where was the return ticket Home?

Other kids my age might have been interested in the Halloween costumes, Christmas presents and Easter baskets. I was interested in the spirits of the men, women and children in the influenza cemetery behind the house where I grew up. They were interesting, even the many souls who had died as children and infants.

Those souls could, and did, tell me about the destination. Due to the Spanish Influenza plague of a hundred years ago those people had already gone Home. They weren’t hanging around earth like other spirits, like ghosts who hadn’t made it through the Tunnel of Light. They told me that they came back because I was here. There was someone in their town who could see them. I could hear them. They could tell me what they saw and experience on the other side of the Tunnel.

Their journey was over a long time before I was born. They had reached their destination. They had reached the destination to which I look forward to returning.

Their existences were my proof that Ralph Waldo Emerson got it all wrong.

It is the destination.

In this life we find ourselves falling back on the notion that some things are unfigureoutable, as children so aptly state it. That nobody knows what is going on in a given situation. Nobody can really figure out life’s baffling days and nights.

True, we do seek our own paths in the spiritual life. We try to get through the times that leave us shaking our heads. When we are confused, we try one idea and then another. Ultimately, we reach our destination.



Mark J. Janssen

Mark Janssen is a spiritual warrior, mystic and author. His writes a weekly blog. His memoir “Reach for the Stars” is available online and in bookstores.