June 1, 2015: Are We There Yet?

~by Louis Templeman

My Dad had just popped me real good right above the knee. Being the least athletic of the three young brothers and the worst responder in times of panic made me the easier target. It wasn’t that Dad wanted to hit only me. He would have preferred to make a clean back-hand sweep and hit all of us. I was in the middle of the back seat and either brother scrunched tight to the edges of the rear seat. In my shock of being the only hit in such a small target rich environment I was determined not to cry but in my outrage I couldn’t keep quiet, “All I wanted to know is are we there yet.”

My brothers, also quick with their tongues, found my dilemma inspiration for humor. “Are we there yet, Dad? Are we there yet, Dad?” mimicked my older brother. The younger quickly followed his lead.

I said, “Shut the Hell up! Dad said, “Do I have to stop this car so I can hit all of you?”

No, Dad. Just hit Louie again,” said the older one.

Let me hold you beer so you won’t spill it this time,” wisecracked the younger. At this my Dad laughed. Although he never apologized for losing his temper, he always welcomed the soft distraction of humor.

The kid in the back seat hounding the adult driver with, “Are we there yet?” is iconic in modern American comedy. It speaks to all of us. It speaks of hope, impatience, fear of disappointment and being tired of waiting and waiting and waiting.

13 Do return, O LORD ; how long will it be? And be sorry for Your servants. 14 O satisfy us in the morning with Your loving-kindness, That we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. 15 Make us glad according to the days You have afflicted us, And the years we have seen evil. 16 Let Your work appear to Your servants And Your majesty to their children. 17 Let the favor of the Lord our God be upon us; And confirm for us the work of our hands ; Yes, confirm the work of our hands. Psalm 90: 13-17 NASB

Are we there, yet?” is not a bad rendering of the complaints Moses heard from the Israelites as he led them out of their period of oppression and slavery in Egypt. “Are we there, yet,” is what prayer can sound like when faith is replaced by impatience and doubt.

Our God was re-introduced to the world by Jesus as “Father” and also as “Daddy” or “Abba.” Jesus promises that he will never give a snake to a child that asks him for and egg. In fact, He promises us his very breath, “How much more will the Heavenly Father give you the Holy Spirit?” How much more and how quickly.

We need not fear parental ordnance from our loving God’s front seat, but rather his comforting words, “No, not yet. We will get there soon. Everything I promised you is yours. You will get it all.”

As we ride we wait. As we work we wait. As we hope we wait. As we wait we sing. As we wait we worship. As we wait we give thanks. I cannot control God from the back seat. I am rather thankful it is he who is in the front seat. Are we there yet? Yes, just where we want to be; with our Heavenly Father.

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Louis writes from Jacksonville, Florida where he lives with his old friend and wonderful bride, Joy. They transformed their friendship into the sacrament of marriage on August 30, 2012. They share their home with two self-absorbed, playful, twin cats (Flo and Jet) and one very allusive and arrogant cat named D. Louis has recently been diagnosed with Parkinson’s and is fighting the good fight. Much of what he writes these days he is sharing his journey with us. Please keep Louis and his wife Joy in your prayers.

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