Thursday, July 1, 2010

Day 182: Are We There Yet?

I doubt any of you reading this need any reference for the above title. If you're like me, your mind instantly takes you to a hot summer day of your childhood when your family was packed in the wood-paneled station wagon ("the big blue bomb" as we called ours), headed to the beach ... or grandma's ... or the water park ... or Disney. Who knows how deep into the trip the restlessness started - for some you'd barely left the driveway - but you could feel it rising in you until it verbally ruptured out of your mouth ... "ARE WE THERE YET!?" This question was usually met with the response, "Not yet." Oh yeah? Well I'll see your "not yet" and raise you a "Well, how much further??" (delivered in the whiniest tone one could muster). Initially my mom would respond patiently, "Not much further." Some especially creative parents would mix it up with things like "Just around the next corner." This of course was either a blatant lie or the truth but you were traveling on the longest straightest road on the planet.

Let's face it ... we like destinations way more than journeys.

Today marks the halfway point of my running streak. 182 (and a half) days ago, I started this commitment. I must be honest, when I realized recently that I wasn't even halfway yet, I found myself a whiny six year old again. "Ugh. How much further!?!" I swear I thought I heard God respond, "Just around the next corner."

Sadly, I've reached the same point in my grad school studies. I'm well beyond halfway, thankfully, but the finish line still seems way too far away. Then factor in that it looks like my graduation has been pushed back yet another semester, and the impatient anxiousness is growing to a seemingly insurmountable degree. I started my seminary journey 5 years ago! Will I ever finish??

I'm ready to be done running.
I'm ready to be done with homework.
I'm ready to be done with singleness.
I'm ready to be done.

When can I enjoy the accomplishment's completion and finally rest? My mom retired this year and rarely a day passes that I don't envy her new life. In a non-morbid way, I even envy those who've gone on to be with the Lord. The Apostle Paul knew what that felt like too. But he encouraged the Galatians and us ...
Gal 6:9-10 - "So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. Right now, therefore, every time we get the chance, let us work for the benefit of all, starting with the people closest to us in the community of faith."
The best way to push through? Stop thinking about yourself and focus on helping others. This goes hand in hand with my last post on Perspective. When we focus on things that really matter, our discontent begins to dissipate.

So this morning as I ran I prayed a word of thanks to God that I have the ability to run. Many cannot. Then I asked Him to show me how that training can be used to bring Him glory ... how my LIFE can be used to bring Him glory. If my focus becomes making a Kingdom difference, running, homework, and the like are no longer inconvenient travels towards an unreachable destination, but enjoyable journeys that are destinations in and of themselves.

What are you impatiently waiting for? Perhaps, like me, God wants to teach you the joy of the right now. Today has purpose ... and it's not just to get to tomorrow when something really good happens.

TODAY is the day the Lord has made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it. (Psalm 118:24)


  1. As a fellow grad-schooler (spouse of, in my case), I feel your pain! Thank you for the reminder that the journey is made up of days that God has made for us. Living "in the moment" is my latest lesson.