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Archive for June 22nd, 2012

I have many memories of spending hours and days in preparation for a long distance trip, by car or plane. Then, just minutes after leaving our home one of our children would cry from from the backseats, “are we there yet?”

It is the most familiar cry of family road trips. It is acceptable, and even humorous to us, because it comes out of the lack of awareness and experience of a child’s understanding of place and time. If our twenty-something year old were to ask that same question, in the same context, it would not be as acceptable or humorous.

That is how it is with how we deem something to be an age-appropriate response or action. We consider the maturity level of the person.

A burp or toot from an infant is ‘cute’ but anything similar from your hubby is inappropriate and distasteful.

We watch our toddler race toy trains, planes and automobiles, encouraging them to ‘go faster’, but a new teenage driver who participates in street racing is ridiculous, and should lose their license.

These are the double standards of moving forward, of maturing, of growing up.

Are we there yet?

It is also our innate, human cry. Our bodies cry it from our first breath, until our final exhale.

We spend most of our lives trying to identify, trying to find ‘there’. We are like the child in the back seat, too young, too immature to understand distance or time. We just know that we are going, and we want to be ‘there’ so that we can discover what it is.

‘There’ is like a present, placed under the Christmas tree too many days before the due date to unwrap it. It sits, and waits for the mysteries inside to be revealed. We do not know if we want what it contains inside, we just know that we want it to be fully revealed to us, but it is not time for that.

Waiting for the right time is not something that I do well, or naturally, and I do not think that I am alone in that.

Like that child awaiting the right time to open the gift, I just want to get on with it … whatever ‘it’ is.

Being of advanced years, I am starting to learn something about the season of waiting. I am learning it is not empty time. It is not a waste of time. There is a purpose in this season of waiting and anticipating.

In the season of waiting, there is opportunity to to not be that child in the back seat, but to be one of the maturity to notice the beauty along the way. We can learn that age-old lesson to “be still.”

Somehow, to we mere mortals, “be still” sounds like a demand, and, for the impatient like me, it sounds like a punishment.

There is more, though, to that age-old lesson. The lesson comes from the Psalms (Psalm 46:10).

It says:
“Be still, and know that I am God”

When I read beyond those first two words, I sense not a demand or punishment in it’s message to me, but an opportunity to let the chips fall where they may.

It is like someone giving me money to play the slots. It did not cost me to play, so, win or lose, I get to pull the handle and still walk away without having had to gamble.

Unlike that child tortuously awaiting the appointed time to reveal the contents of the beautifully wrapped box, I can enjoy the presents of today, knowing that God has not only the appointed day in control, but also what is contained in the wrappings.

Are we there yet?

No, but each day of anticipation is an opportunity to trust in the God who already knows what is awaiting me.

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