Are we there yet?
We're homeschooling this year due to "the 'Rona" so I've wanted to take advantage of this freedom and teach interdisciplinary / experiential units. (If you want to receive some of the curriculum I'm writing, subscribe to my blog and/or share this post with a friend!)
Anyway, September was "out west" month. We learned how the west was established (good and bad), some basic geography (including time zones), and what animals live out there (because nothing is worth learning if it doesn't involve cool animals, right?!)
In order to maximize our learning, we took our school on the road. We went to South Dakota to see the Badlands, Mount Rushmore, and the Crazy Horse Memorial, and to Colorado to see the Rocky Mountains, hike the Continental Divide, and see some moose!
Not even halfway through our journey (when we were eyes-deep in corn country), my middle daughter asked me something so similar to "Are we there yet?" it made me take pause. She asked me:
”Where are we?”
At first glance this question might seem the same, but I assure it's not. “Are we there yet?” insinuates boredom or impatience, which is why it grates on every parent's nerve because it's annoying, repetitive, and sounds selfish!
But Where are we? Well, that asks something different.
It's more matter-of-fact; more curious and less irritating. It also symbolizes surrender: a follower wouldn't ask this question if she didn't fully believe that her trusted guide knows the answer! Moreover, Where are we? is journey-focused -- the simple act of being is more important than "arriving".
Let's apply this to us as adults, then.
Think of a time when you were waiting on something -- a job promotion, to become pregnant, or for your kids to wipe their own butts. (Seriously.) Whatever the pilgrimage, which question did you ask God: Are we there yet? or Where are we?
When we ask God the latter, it implies that we believe he is with us -- that he's carrying us, holding our hands and is ever-present. We aren't annoyed or complaining like the Israelites did in the wilderness (Exodus 14, 15, 16 and 17). We are simply asking him a question of metaphorical geography:
Where are we in the grief process, God?
Where are we in navigating potty training?
Where are we in finding my perfect pair of jeans?
Truth be told, we usually know the answer. But asking God invites him into our journey, which is especially helpful if you happen to HATE waiting like I do!
I don't like lines. I don't like standing still. And I don't care about waiting for that "second marshmallow". #marshamallowtest #iwouldhavefailed 😂
Unfortunately, life is all about waiting, right?! We wait for a spouse, we wait to sleep through the night, and we wait to fit into our jeans again. Waiting is life!
So if we ask God, "Are we there yet?"... do we really want to know the answer? Do we have the cajones to stand strong in our faith, or are we unsettled like the sea, divided between him and the world? (James 1:5-8)
I don't know about you, but when I'm focused on the destination, it's real hard to stay focused on God. I get caught up in hearing what I want instead of learning from him.
That's why Where are we? flips the script. It says:
I trust you, God.
I know you're with me.
Thank you for being my guide.
It takes us from being future-focused to being present. And this is how we drive through the doldrums of "Nebraska" without losing our minds!!!!
Therefore, whatever you're waiting on today, press in and ask God where the two of you are; then wait as your attitude changes from irritation to wonderment. After all, he wants to give you a break from driving all night so you don't fall asleep at the wheel! He wants you to see the scenery changing from desert to hills to mountains. So don't miss it! Ask him where you are...and then sit back and enjoy the ride.