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Are We There Yet?

July 9, 2000
by Mary Daniel

Numbers 21:4 – And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to compass the land of Edom: and the soul of the people was much discouraged because of the way. (KJV)

A cartoon was comprised of four frames, three of which depicted a car bumping along the road, two adults in front and a child in the back, with the caption, "Are we there yet?" The last frame showed the father throwing the child out the window. A harsh statement: but who among us hasn't experienced trying to divert that question with various games and stories as we set out on the family vacation?

Some of the things my mom used to do, which I in turn tried on my children, included providing colouring books, crayons and various other toys from home; suggesting the enjoyment of the beautiful scenery (usually not of interest); spelling the alphabet out of car plates; making words out of car plates (a good test to see how long it takes before the kids are fighting over who saw which letter first); and singsongs. One time after numerous "Are we there yet?"s, as we neared our destination, my husband, thinking they'd never do it, suggested to our little ones to count to 500 and we'd be there. It backfired.

In our quest to "get there", to "arrive", to "achieve"; or to become all that we think we can be, do we pursue it with such impatience or get so "bogged down" that we don't enjoy the road we are taking to accomplish whatever it is we think we must? There is a saying which tells us that it is not so much the destination, but the journey which counts.

We once lived up north, and I remember we were going to visit some friends who had just moved to Victoria. As it was a long, long journey of over 1200 miles, more thought went into, and more memories were made in the preparation and travelling we took to get there, than I remember arising from actually being there.

What of our spiritual journey? Are we able to savour the simplest of pleasures that we are given, especially in times of trouble? Can we concentrate on "being present" at the moment, trusting that when we reach our destination, our journey and what we put into it will have been worthwhile? Can we see His presence in our daily journey, which makes up the most important part of our final destination?

Prayer: Our heavenly Father, may we take the time on our daily journey to hear your presence in the beauty of a bird's song; to feel your presence in the warmth of the sun, the soft gentle rain, and the wisps of wind; and to see your presence in the bountiful beauty bestowed upon us so freely. May we impart this to others, and strive to be kind and understanding — especially to those who find their journey on the road to their destination to be discouraging. In your name we pray. Amen.

About the author:

Mary Daniel <marydee@shaw.ca>
Nanaimo, British Columbia, Canada

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