Reflections by Chuck Cluff, Atherton resident since 2004

Passage: Psalms 90:12 “So teach us to number our days that we may present to You a heart of wisdom.”

The dictionary gave two main ideas about milestones:

1 a stone set up beside a road to mark the distance in miles to a particular place.

2 an action or event marking a significant change or stage in development.

When connected to hiking, the trailhead is the start and the milestones are the distance markers. Before our electronic devices, these stones were essential if you wanted to know how far you had gone and how much further you had to go. Even with all our gadgets, hikers still find these milestones are very helpful. A good example of these are the post markers on the trail that starts at the end of Lake Avenue in Pasadena going up to Mount Lowe. It’s about a two and a half mile hike. In olden days actual stones marked the miles.

In terms of our personal lives we have many milestones. These are occasions that have been consequential to ourselves and the people we love. Big decisions or unusual projects have confronted most of us from time to time. These were instances of immense personal challenge. Some of us in our vocations have been participants in projects affecting many people, not just ourselves. We look back on moments, specific achievements, life-changing events, particular places and mark them as milestones in our lives.

One lifetime project we are still involved in, actually the biggest one of all, is our whole life. It is everything we have been, are, and will be on this earth journey. When we die and where we die will be our last earth milestone. (Maybe that is one way to think of the grave marker.) Everything related to this life will be over when this physical body ceases breathing. What a milestone that will be. At that moment will we be conscious of what’s going on? Will we find we are able to think and contemplate about our life just ended?

If we can, will we spend time focusing on the milestones of the past? I don’t think so, because we will spot the next trailhead; the one leading to the mansions Jesus alluded to when he was with the disciples. I wish he had given more detail; but even without details, our imaginations do fairly well coming up with what mansion level living might be: lots of space, bounty, contentment, peace, happiness, comfort, fun, surplus, and more. Not bad huh? Will we have an eternity of ever new heaven sized milestones? Hope so. From here we start our eternal venture.