By Dede Ewing
Anyone experience the hurry up and wait of a much anticipated, well-earned play date for an eight-year-old boy? It’s as if we become the official Mrs. Clock running the countdown settings of a double overtime little league football game. Our son thrives off of weekend and summer time play dates and this equals total excitement because he is a social butterfly. His love tank is always full after time spent with his god-brothers and close friends. He immerses himself into that exact point in time and absorbs all the benefits of a well-spent outing in fellowship with like-minded children. Sometimes we have to hold off telling him they’re coming over and just surprise him because, the time leading up to their arrival, he’s on pins and needles and on our last nerve. The questions just keep coming. We hear, “What time is it?” up the wazoo and then some.
We arranged a play date with his god-brother one Sunday after church at 4pm. The stop-watch started as soon as we made it home and the questions about the appointed time were numberless. Finally, after a few hours, we went on our way and journeyed to our dear friend’s home. On the ride over, I felt like we were replaying a scene from the comedic movie, “Are we there yet?” I’d taken a different route and when he noticed, he asked if we were still going to their house. I told him yes and he quickly, breathlessly asked, “The quick way?” By this time, my patience wore thin and I fired back, “Look! We’ll get there when we get there!”
After I said it, there was total silence and I felt a come-to-Jesus moment in the pit of my stomach. I heard the Holy Spirit gently say, “You’ve been in a season of ‘Are we there yet?’” And it was true. I’d been expecting the Lord to do something new in my marriage, in my parenting, in my ministry, in my business, in my career, and in my relationships. It seemed like I’d been on this cycle of mundane, humdrum existence. I knew God wanted me to experience the fullness of his joy and be present in every moment; however, I couldn’t help rushing the arrival of the ultimate feeling of success in these areas. All the while, I was missing the significance of the bigger picture – Christ in me. It didn’t seem like we’d ever get to what my version of ‘there’ was.
They say it is better to journey than to arrive. I know that it takes time and there is an ongoing voyage of Godly success, but what He was really after was cultivating the fruit of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. He was taking us the scenic route. On this scenic road there is a lot less traffic that leads to life. (Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the road that leads to destruction and many enter through it, but small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14.)
We got to experience the natural and cultural beauty of where we were and while the way was different, the destination was pre-determined. (Many are the plans in the mind of man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will be established. Proverbs 19:21.) We were able to gain better insight of our surroundings and enjoy ourselves as we did, indeed, get there! We had to stop and not allow the issues of the little moments to rob us of experiencing our moment in the So(u)n!
Our son had already planned out in his mind the passage we were going to take to get to his play date. He’d set a goal of getting there and set a strategy in his mind. But as his parent, I’d mapped out another way. As the driver, I determined how the trip would be navigated. Much like our Christian walk and motherhood, we sometimes let our mortal minds get in the way of the driver (Jesus) who is cultivating His character in us. We become impatient, anxious and restless at the obstacles, we feel, are keeping us from success or keeping Him from doing a new thing in our circumstances; when all He wants is to do a new thing in us. Everything happening around us may be contrary to what the Lord promises and says, but we can walk with Him even when it looks like time is taking forever. In the waiting and in taking the scenic pilgrimage, God may just choose to bless us in ways that expands the generations to come and inevitably, we’ll get there when we get there. (He leads me beside still waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for His name sake. Psalm 23:2-3.) So, join with me and continue learning to trust the journey even when we don’t completely understand it.
Dede Ewing is the proud wife to her amazing husband, John. They reside in beautiful Cedar Hill, TX and share in a loving blended family of three incredible children (2 daughters and 1 son): India (21), Essences (19), John II (8), and 1 dog named Bella. She enjoys coffee anytime of the day, eyeliner with a great mascara, little league sports, travel, good food, and great fellowship.Check her out on Instagram and Facebook.