I was not one of those kids who would annoy his parents on a road trip with the cliché phrase, “are we there yet?” Don’t get me wrong though…I ALWAYS thought it. When I would travel with my great-grandmother across the country to church conferences, I would often grow restless with the hours spent in the church van. Pretty soon, I would annoy everyone else on the trip simply out of boredom. I was tired of traveling and tired of waiting. I was ready to get to the destination and embark on whatever adventures that were waiting for me. Years and several trips around the world later, I still get restless when traveling — especially on the journey of faith.
Lent began last week and I am embracing a few spiritual practices this season in order to align my heart (once again) with the heart of God. I have high expectations this year and looking forward to all the things I believe God is going to teach me over the next few weeks. But I have to admit, I got to Friday afternoon and reached out to heaven with this prayer, “are we there yet?” Yes, only two days into Lent and I was already feeling restless. Only two days in and I was wondering if these practices of prayer, fasting, scripture reading and more were worth it. Two days, and nothing was changing. I was getting tired and I wondered how much longer until the spiritual adventure would begin.
In my impatience, I realized just how off alignment I might be. In the past, people have cried out faithfully for years waiting on the Lord to answer them. For some, decades have flown by before they saw God complete the dreams of their hearts. Even in my own life, words spoken over me in my late teens are just now coming to pass. I know that spiritual development is never fast paced. But somehow I thought that two days would be more than enough time for a spiritual awakening.
One of the marks of maturity is learning how to wait. Patience and faithfulness are fruits of the Spirit living and gaining ground in our lives. The results of a disciplined and focus life come over time, not in immediate moments. The fact that I did not feel anything in my first two days of Lent IS testimony to the work of God in my life…and the distance that I still need to travel. The question is will I continue to travel or will I stop here.
For all of those who are constantly looking up at the King and asking, “are we there yet?”, the answer is probably, “no, but you are closer now than you have ever been.” Keep going, lean into the season…the greatest of days await you just down the road.