It was a long drive. Slightly over 20 hours to be exact. When I was growing up, my family and I would pack our bags and make the long trip from Midland, Michigan to New Port Richey, Florida, to visit both sets of grandparents. We made it a Christmas tradition. It was an adventure beginning in the frigid north, bundled in our winter clothes, and ending in the balmy south, heavy coats and sweaters replaced by t-shirts and windbreakers. Talk about making memories along the way!
Our journey would begin early, long before I would have been out of bed. My Mom would request a pit-stop within the first hour. The coffee was always to blame. My brother and I were encouraged to take advantage of the stop, since my Dad reminded us that we wouldn't be stopping again anytime soon. That meant rousing ourselves from the comfortable beds we'd made, putting our shoes on and bundling up in our winter coats, before dashing from our car to the gas station restroom and back.
As we started off again, my brother and I would amuse ourselves by playing pranks on my parents. One of our favorites, was shredding a tissue and seeing how much of it we could carefully set on my Mom's head before she would notice. "All right, you two!" became familiar words, as we would double over with laughter. Our absolute favorite prank involved a sturdy wire, bent in the shape of a 'C,' two rubber bands and a metal washer. With these items in hand, our male cousins had taught us how to make a gadget that, when wound up and released, produced a similar sound as today's whoopie cushions. Imagine my Dad's dismay as he'd hear a suspicious sound from the back seat. He could only assume the worst, and we'd once again stifle our laughter as he'd roll down the windows in spite of the wintry weather. Needless to say, "Kids, don't try these pranks at home!"
As the hours passed, my brother and I would begin to get on each other's nerves. We'd draw the invisible line down the middle of the back seat and dare each other to cross it. When playing, reading, and sleeping got old, and the scenery looked the same with each passing mile, the questions started. "Are we almost there yet?" No doubt, you can relate.
As an adult, I look back on the entire family trip experience with fond memories. It brought a smile to my face when I realized that I often ask a similar spiritual question of my Heavenly Father: "Am I there yet?" Just when I think I'm living victoriously in one area, He is faithful to remind me that life is a journey and not a destination. The Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 1:6, "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" (KJV) Praise the Lord! Until that day, may I patiently run the race that He sets before me, looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:1-2, KJV). Find joy in the journey while you keep your eyes on Him.