“Are we there yet?”
We all know this line, but parents feel it. We can hear the whine drawl out as a cringe moves throughout our entire body. It is amazing how children seem to be compelled to ask this question when passengers in a car…over and over again… no matter how long of a trip they are on. The Willett family has been getting a lot of use out of this line since we moved back to Arizona this last summer. In our small Montana town, the only home the boys really have known, we were never in the car more than 5 minutes. Officially the Miles City is 3.3 square miles, but it felt like everything was under a mile away. We traveled out of town often, but our daily lives included very little time in the car. Then we moved to the commuters paradise. The Phoenix metro area is known for its sprawl. Just driving from our house to the closest grocery store is an entire Miles City away, and to Levi’s preschool… well that is the length of two Miles Cities. So our kids have struggled. It isn’t just on the long road trips that we are hearing this all too familiar refrain, but every single time we get in the car… “Are we there yet?” “How much longer?” “Are we closer to home or to nana’s now?”
I get it. The in-between is no fun. We left the comfort of home and are headed to something amazing (nana’s house, dinner out, a friend’s) and we are excited. We got ourselves ready and now we are just sitting in the van… waiting. Fifteen minutes can feel like three hours to a 3 year old who is excited to see his nana. Watching and waiting and still we are not there.
Life feels like this sometimes. I want to scream “Are we there yet?!?” Friends this is what the season of Advent is all about. It is a recognition of our state of waiting. That we are watching in anticipation of what is about to come into being. It is faith that in the birth of Jesus, God did something definitive- that God broke into the mundane and introduced a promise of something amazing, and then set us on a journey to its fulfillment. We are watching and waiting, seeing glimpses of God’s vision becoming but we are not there yet.