Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Are We There Yet?

 (This summer is going to be a busy one while our grandson spends it with us and I try to keep up with his and his cousins' energy (and his laundry!).  I hope you don't mind an occasional "repeat" of prior posts while I attempt to reorganize my writing schedule.  This post is from June of 2009.  How time does fly!  I hope you enjoy it and are encouraged, even if you've already read it.  New posts won't be as often, but I promise to add as many as I can squeeze in!  Have a wonderful and blessed summer, everyone! ~~ Karen)

Are we there, yet?” 
Every parent has heard these words uttered from the back seat of the car. I am unable to count the number of times my own children asked the question repeatedly on a long trip. At first, the question is asked in anticipation of being somewhere that fun and excitement awaits them; an amusement park, the beach, or just traveling to see family and friends. And during the first portion of the journey, the children obediently sit and talk about all they will do when they arrive at their destination. You have brought along games for them to play and songs are sung, which whiles away perhaps the first hour. But something happens after a couple of hours and the atmosphere dramatically changes, as do the tones of their voices. 

“When will we be there?”

As discomfort sets in, attitudes suddenly take a turn. Their voices assume a whining quality. Bickering between them starts over seat space. “He’s got his feet on my side!” Hands cannot be kept to themselves. “Mom! She poked me in the eye!” One of the children begins to tease another. “Mom! He said we weren’t going to get to go swimming when we get there!“ You give them “the look” and tell them to behave or Dad will stop the car. In the meantime, Dad sets his jaw, his hands are now choking the steering wheel, the radio volume goes up, and he pushes the speed limit just a little harder. There are moments of relief when the kids believe your threats and silence fills the back seat. But it is usually a brief moment because, sure enough, an offense will be committed and retaliation will begin anew. You suggest they take a nap "because the time will go faster." You are now at the point where you turn to your husband and ask, “How much longer?”

Children are incapable of distinguishing time. To a child, every day is today and tomorrow seems like a vast distance somewhere off in the cloudy future. If they are told that in a week they will be going on a trip somewhere exciting, a countdown begins as if they must convince themselves it is a reality. As they mature, their concept of time changes and a better understanding of it is learned. However, I have often mused on God’s establishment of time - the second, the minute, the hour, the day - and his purpose behind it.

The Lord set the precedent for time in Genesis 1 when He created the heavens and the earth. From a chaotic mass of matter and darkness, He formed them by His Word and by the power of His Spirit. 

“God called the light ‘day’, and the darkness He called ‘night’. And there was evening, and there was morning - the first day.” (Gen 1:5)

He continued until six days were established and then rested on the seventh. By doing so, God distinctly defined time as we know it, even setting seasons and years. I believe His doing so was uniquely for our benefit, for there would be “times” throughout history that would be vital pivotal points in His plan for mankind.

We mark and measure our lives by the time God has given us. While we age, we attempt to look forward and ask, “Are we there yet?."  As I write this, the turbulence that is overcoming the world presses that question even more to the forefront. Prophecy, foretold hundreds of centuries ago and written in the annuls of history, is beginning to unfold before us. Like our children, we sit in the back seat and wonder why it is taking so long for the trip to end. Our discomfort causes tension, uneasiness, or an anxiousness for something we know will be far better than anything we have experienced. I long for the journey here to be over and to at last be at my final destination. But the time God established for us is unimportant to Him. As is often quoted, “God’s timing is not ours."

There will be a “time” when God will put things back in their proper order, when His Son will return and restore all of Creation back to its original purity and beauty and sin will be no more. It is not for us to know the hour (Acts 1:7), but we are called to recognize the signs of His return (Matthew 24, 25). In the meantime, we must cling to His promises, strive to be obedient, and remain in His will, no matter how impatient we are about the length of time it is taking.

“The night is nearly over; the day is almost here.” (Romans 13:12)

As Paul comforted believers in Rome, I draw upon what I would tell my own children on a long and arduous trip:

“We’re almost there!”


Becky said...

I can't wait!!!!!!

Karen L. Brahs said...

Me, either, Beck!! :o)