Are We Nearly There Yet?
As a child, I remember many car journeys – going on holiday, visiting relatives or friends – journeys that seemed endless. ‘Are we nearly there yet ?’ pipes up a little voice from the back seat. Like many of you, I’m sure, as a parent and grandparent I have now been on the other end of that frustrated little voice. These days, car journeys are a little quicker (or maybe not!) and arguably a little more comfortable now that cars can be fitted with all sorts of gadgets and gizmos to help keep little minds occupied. Well at least it’s better than endless rounds of ‘I Spy’.
Nowadays, while travel has become so much easier, if I’m stuck in a traffic jam I might start to get a bit hot under the collar, especially if I need to be somewhere in a hurry. But then I start to think about those long-gone days when the only means of travelling from one place to another was on foot, or on a horse, donkey or pony if you were very lucky, or more recently by bike. You didn’t worry about the time it took, because you couldn’t get there any quicker!
I’m also reminded of the 40 years that the Israelites spent wandering through the wilderness apparently heading towards a place that they had only been told about but that no-one had ever actually seen. They made it in the end, of course, but the Old Testament story is full of episodes when the people moaned and complained – the biblical version of ‘are we nearly there yet’, if you like!
Today there are still people on the move, many of them on foot, clutching a few meagre belongings, desperate to reach a place they have only been told about but none of them have actually seen: a promised ‘land of milk and honey’. We call them refugees. And unlike us as children, unlike the Israelites in the wilderness, they probably don’t keep asking each other ‘are we nearly there yet?’ Such is their determination – desperation, even – to reach this wonderful land that it seems that no-one and nothing will stop them. I wonder how many of us have truly
experienced that sort of determination?
Revd Gary Williamson