“Are we there yet?”
The famous words spoken by every impatient child across the world on any road trip, whether it be five minutes or five hours, due to their lack of direction and space-time continuum. Even as adults, our GPS tells us how long until we arrive at our destination and we usually have an idea of how long of a drive is ahead of us before we take off in our cars.
As a child, we lived in a suburb of Detroit. Many times, our weekends consisted of visiting family that lived in the same area or near-by. I was able to determine how close we were to whichever house we were headed towards by noting my surroundings. There was a particular neon sign near my grandparents’ house, an arrow pointing to the building it was attached to, that when I saw it, I knew we were very close to their home. Sometimes, if my mom or dad took a different route, I would first ask, “Where are we going?” and when they answered, “Grandma and Grandpa’s,” I would then ask something along the lines of where are we or how close are we?
There was always an excitement when I knew we were almost there. Anticipation if you will. Maybe I would get to see my cousins. Grandma better not be out of cookies. If she is, I hope she has pudding pops! I wonder if Grandpa is going to have the baseball game on the radio. He always does. It’s soooo boring!
I love the sound of a baseball game on the radio now. It makes me smile.
There were times we took long trips to my other grandparents’ house. They lived in North Carolina. That was a long drive from Michigan and provided many opportunities to ask the question, “Are we there yet?”
Even that trip however had its road-side markers giving me an idea of how close we were. Obviously we made the trip quite a few times. I knew when we went from flat land to mountains we weren’t in “Kansas” anymore. As I grew older and started reading, I was able to follow the signs on the side of the road telling us how much further to the next main city. I would map out the cities in my head and keep a mental picture of our trip. This was back when GPS didn’t exist and the Rand McNally Road Atlas was your best friend. I still carry one with me to this day. Map reading is a good skill to have.
My parents, along with every other parent in the history of time, eventually became tired of the same question on these road trips and you could hear the frustration growing in their voice with each answer. We didn’t care though…kept on asking, “Are we there yet?”
My dad, when he became frustrated, would answer with, “We will be there when we get there. Stop asking.”
I’ve been thinking about this over the last week or so because my husband and I are in a season of having to wait patiently, on God, and some days we aren’t so patient. We know He is taking us somewhere, advancing us from where we are at, and I find myself every day asking “Where are we going? How far is it? Are we there yet?”
This doesn’t mean spatially. It means spiritually, emotionally, mentally. Our faith grows with each season we are in. God advances His people. He carries them through to bigger and better things. When we feel lost or as if we don’t know where we are going, we need to lean on Him. He guides us, directs us and carries us through. As my husband recently commented, “Patience is a rough dirt road when you’re used to an expressway.”
How true those words are.
I’ve seen parents plan a trip to Disney in secret and surprise their children by not telling them until they actually arrive. The child is naturally going to ask, “Where are we going? How far is it? Are we there yet?” Once they get there however, the excitement and joy are like nothing else.
Sometimes, God is taking us somewhere like Disney and wants it to be a surprise. Maybe He doesn’t want to hear all the questions. Maybe He wants us to grown in our trust and faith in Him. Maybe He knows we would take a detour and arrive too late or too early if we knew where we were going.
The best road trips I had as a kid were the ones where I fell asleep and woke up as we were arriving to our destination. I’m sure those were the best for my parents as well. I’m going to be patient in this season, sleep peacefully, and expect a pudding pop to be waiting on me when we arrive, wherever God is taking us.
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, Lord, only makest me dwell in safety.