I laughed when I realized how many years it took to discover who I am.... by first zealously exploring who I am not

Friday, June 14, 2013

Are we there yet?

If you have ever children and have ever been in the car with them for more than, say, 10 minutes, than you have probably heard the proverbial "ARE WE THERE YET"? If you haven't, then you either don't have children OR your children are mute. It's universal. Children are pre-wired with this phrase. It comes straight from the factory right after they learn to scream in the decibel of a dog whistle and right before they learn that when mom is on the phone is when the end of the world is near and you must ask every question you ever wanted to know the answer to. Twice. Fortunately we live in the age of the iPad, portable DVD players, and earbuds. (Yes, in my mind I just thought for the parents) for the kid, for the kids. The invention of these products has greatly reduced the amount of time that phrase is uttered on a car trip. For example, before it was every 20 miles. Now, with these delightful mind-numbi..... I mean entertainment devices, we only get asked that at the end of the movie they are watching or when we stop to pee. (Don't even get me started on bathroom breaks. There is a special room in the factory they get pre-wired for bathroom breaks and it's managed by a dude with a pointy tail.)

So what do I bring this up? Well, a few months ago someone at our church opened the service with this phrase. As soon as he said it I heard "Where is there?" I pulled out my phone and typed those two phrases in my notes. (If I ever die, someone please look at the notes on my phone, some of the most amazing thoughts that God gives me at random moments are typed there). The last few months I have looked at it and read it. I've spent a lot of time thinking about. I have spent time going God what are you trying to tell me with this. The only thing I've heard is this:

"THERE is where He has called us to be at this moment" 

Many people are in transition right now. It's everywhere I look. People are moving, changing jobs, their whole lives being shaken up. This past year has been a huge transition for my family as well. However, when I look up and look around I see it everywhere in the body of Christ. God is moving us out of our comfort zones, our safety places. Out of ourselves. The natural response to that happening for me has been "are we there yet" because transition is hard. It's like being a kid, sitting in the back seat watching the endless highway stretch before you (and behind you) and never knowing when it's going to end. And instead of looking at what's around you such as the scenery and the local flavor- we look ahead, straining to see the end in sight. And when we get to our destination what do people ask us- oh when you went through so-and-so did you see the such-and-such? Our journey in this life is no different. God has put before us a calling. There is an end result that He wants to see in our lives. But living our lives, in the moment before us is what prepares us for the calling. It's what trains us, it's what leads us to the place of surrendering our will to His. But we get frustrated. We get impatient. We want what we know is at the end. We keep going "God, Are we there yet"? and He is going YES! You are exactly where I want you, right now in this moment. Is it hard? YES. Is it where we want to be? PROBABLY NOT. Is it going to change us? MOST DEFINITELY. Is it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!

Are you moving into a place in your life that is new? Are you heading down a road that maybe you weren't quite planning on going down? Maybe you have watched things happen in your life and thought, there is no way that is God. Grief, loss, betrayal, pain. While none of those things are God's handiwork, He does promise us that all things work together for the good of those who love Him. (Romans 8:28) So even in the worst of circumstances, God is still moving and you are still right where He has called you to be at this moment. Quit fighting it. You are wearing yourself out. When my kids pitched fits in the car, it did nothing but delay the trip. We stopped, we got out, we went for a walk, we got a snack. We didn't move forward until they had calmed down and chilled out. Calm down. Chill out. God has you on His path, His timing. Quit looking for the end. Look for the moment you are in and learn from it. In the midst of all that, you will eventually (hopefully) learn to enjoy the ride. I bet God will even play the ABC game with you.