It's that time of year again- last bits of road trips for vacation, to camp, to grandma's, etc. before summer winds down. Though now in the days of DS, DVD and MP3, this phrase may not be heard as often as it was when I was growing up, you know we have all heard it, and have all said it: "Are we there yet?!?" Though normally said by a tired child and normally met with either a tired, worn-out reply of "Not yet" or a sarcastic combo of "When the trees stop moving, we're there" and the ever informative "We'll get there when we get there".
It's funny to think about this silly question when it's related to a road trip, but isn't this the root of many of the concerns about our lives? "Is this how life is going to be?" "This isn't how I planned it." "Is this all there is?" "What happens when the good times change to bad?" "Should I be worried about the future?" "Where is God in my circumstances?" Seems like we are always asking if we are there yet.
Two problems with our question- the same two problems that Ava has when she asks me if we are there yet on a trip. 1) We don't know where we are going 2) We have no idea the road ahead that this journey is scheduled to take. Ava questions almost every day if I am on the right road home. Funny from the mouth of a 3 year old, but I wonder what God thinks when I ask Him the same question.
My Bible study lately is taking me back through Genesis. I love asking God to show me new truths in familiar stories- He is always faithful. Genesis 12 talks about God telling Abram to "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you." (vs 1). That's it- no map, no time table, no destination. Just start, and I'll tell you to stop when you get there. What did Abram do? Hebrews 11:8 says "By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going." Throughout the 12th chapter of Genesis, the Bible tells us that Abram would travel "as far as..." and stop, and build an altar to God there and call on His name. Then he would travel again until God told him to stop and repeat the cycle. The Bible says that God appeared to him at these places. I wonder if Abram ever asked God "Am I there yet?" The Word doesn't say- all it tells us is that Abram praised God every time he stopped. I wonder if his prayer was less complaining and more thankful that God had taken them safely this far and with faith that he would prepare the way if He meant for the journey to continue. Might be an attitude I could learn from...
How would your life be different if you treated your journey with God in this life the way Abram appears to have handled it? Would you start out your day saying "I don't know where you are taking me today, but I choose in faith to trust you and follow you. I'll pause when you tell me to and go when you tell me to. Where I end up and what I have accomplished will be for you to decide. I will obey."? And what if when there were times God just stopped us in the midst of our circumstances- some might be good places in life and some might be bad- would we stop to praise God because of His faithfulness to appear to us? Could we find contentment in never knowing "Are we there yet?" until the day He returns and lets us see Himself clearly?
I am nowhere close to being faithful in this area, but God is working on my heart about trusting, following, being content, not looking for the destination, taking the next revealed step, not having to know the plan. He is gracious to remind me that He is in control and knows the road. I do know that I need to stop acting like Ava and just enjoy the ride with Him.
Psalm 139: 1-10, 13-16, 23-24
O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue, you know it completely, O Lord.
You hem me in- behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea,
Even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.
For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well
My frame was not hidden from you when I was make in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes say my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be.
Search me O God and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there be any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.
Your fellow passenger,