Are We There Yet?

Ayden and Rich at the Helm of Tohora Iti. Dana Point Harbor. June, 2009.

Passage Making

I was driving to my office the other day, a trip I’ve made five days a week for five years now. The route is familiar; if not for the occasional stray steer in the road at the crest of Harrison Grade, or the impetuous school bus driver who sometimes pulls out in front of me at the intersection of El Toro and Ridgeline, I could navigate with my eyes closed. 
But there are steer, and wayward school buses, and signal lights along the way. So I drive with my eyes open.
Sometimes I see amazing things. More often, I think while I drive, and I sing, and I pray.
I know the way so well, I need only occupy a corner of my mind with the route.
Occasionally, I’m so immersed in planning my work day or talking to God or listening to the David Crowder Band that my office leaps into view before me suddenly, as if my trip had taken no time at all. 
Does that ever happen to you? You’re driving to some destination, and you’re passing familiar landmarks, certain you have a ways to travel yet, and then BOOM! You’re there. 
I’m thinking life is like that. We’re cruising along, mindful, we hope, of steer standing in the middle of the street, grateful for the gift of a favorite song, watchful for school buses that cut us off, overjoyed by a quiet moment with God.
And then, we’re at the end of the road. Our passage is suddenly over. We’ve arrived. 
I’m not eager for this trip through life to end. Each day holds blessings, from the warm breath of a sleeping grandson blushing against my neck to a meal shared with heart friends. Every season is a delight: summer brings ripe apricots and long, late sunsets spread across the sky like a picnic blanket. Winter promises chill nights that remind me to give thanks for our home, followed by brisk mornings that show us our breath as we go, proof that we’re alive. 
It’s hard for me to remember that at the end of this journey, the waiting destination is glorious beyond my comprehension. It’s been promised to me, and once I arrive there, I’ll never hit the road again. I’m in no hurry to get there, yet I long to be there. 
It’s the sojourner’s paradox. Despite the wonders and gifts of this world, a better place awaits us.

Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 

Psalm 23:6 (NASB)

For we know that if the earthly tent which is our house is torn down, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.  

2 Corinthians 5:1 (NASB)

 1 “Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me. 2 In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. 3 If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also. 

John 14:1-3 (NASB)

Comments

  1. Your lovely writing touched my heart this morning. I agree with you, "the waiting destination is glorious beyond my comprehension." Often I try to imagine that destination but human words and imaginings fall short. In my memoir classes (and blog) I suggest that people write their thoughts about death and eternal life and heaven. These are important! Thanks for your blessings this morning!

    Linda

  2. I missed my exit the other day because I was so engrossed in worry.

    May my attitude change, and I miss my exit because I am praising God instead

  3. Brandee Shafer :

    You know what happens to me, Sheila? I forget where I'm driving and wind up at a familiar location for which I wasn't aiming! I can't tell you how many times I've driven to the house where I USED to live!

    Having said that, I appreciate your message, here. I love how gently and slowly God grows and leads us.

  4. A Joyful Noise :

    Such a gentle reminder to keep our eyes on the WAY (Jesus)and not pay attention to those pop up distractions that hinder our trip. A glorious day awaits us at the end of our journey. Although we anticipate seeing Jesus, we also as Paul said, need to be here because others need us.

  5. Linda,
    Thanks for your comments. It used to bug me a bit that I didn't have a vision of heaven to look forward to.

    Now I'm looking forward to a surprise. I think that's progress…

  6. David,
    That's a really good point. I wonder what we can tell about ourselves by considering what we allow to distract us?

  7. Brandee,
    We call that "fire horse syndrome" and I'm subject to it, too.

  8. Hazel,
    I love that–"pop up distractions."

    Well said.

  9. Lyla Lindquist :

    There's a tension there, no question about it. To live is Christ, to die is gain. Makes no sense. And yet it makes more sense than anything else I know.

    My road time is some of the best time I have.

  10. Me too, Lyla.

    Me too.

  11. While we journey to our destinations we DO tend to forget the final glorious destination…

    the tension indeed, between wating that and wanting this..

    and one fine day, we will open our eyes to see that we have just arrived