“Someday you will ask, ‘Am I there yet?’ and God will answer, ‘Yes, you are. Welcome home.'” – Father David Brown, O.S.B.
Remember when I wrote a letter to stability? Remember how I concluded that we are made for Heaven? Yes, well, it appears we need to be reminded of this (or at least I need to be reminded).
This past week I’ve found myself asking that very question to God, over and over again, “am I there yet?” “When will I arrive?” Part of it has to do with stability, but part of it has to do with being able to simply breathe a sigh of relief at one accomplishment or another. I look at some of my friends and think they have it all together, they own a nice house complete with a wonderful, loving husband. Many of my friends are pregnant or already have children – the seem to have it all. So I ask God again, “am I there yet?” “Can all the pieces of my life just magically fall into place yet?” If I were God (and thank goodness I’m not) I might even begin to think that this Amanda girl sounds like she is whining.
But it’s not just me.
Get on facebook and read any number of status updates and I can guarantee you’ll see what I’m talking about. This morning there were a few of my friends wondering when their children will be born (not to say that I would/will be any different if and (God willing) when I am their shoes), there were others asking for prayers for houses they have made offers on, boyfriends to propose, auditions to go well, acceptance letters to be received and on and on they go. In our own way we are constantly asking God, “am I there yet?” Or even better, “are we there yet?” Then I was reminded of that quote from one of the monks at my college. He gave that quote at the end of an amazing homily and that quote has hung on my wall ever since then. Why? Because it reminds us that we aren’t there yet.
In his homily Father David didn’t say that God will answer, “no you aren’t you lazy bum, now get back to work.” Someday, some glorious day, He will answer and that answer will be beautiful. Just thinking about that day brings joy to my heart – and that joy gives me strength for the journey (now that hymn will be stuck in my head all day). But that day is not here yet, and I don’t hear God telling me “welcome home.” In fact, when I ask Him that question more often than not I hear nothing. Why? Is God being silent? Is He holding out on me? No, he’s not. He’s not answering because if I am being honest with myself then I already know the answer. I’m not there yet. We aren’t there yet. There is more work to be done.
Depressing? I think not. Hopeful? Certainly. That quote reminds me of what is really important: our journey to Heaven. It isn’t all about the boyfriend or the ring or the house or the kids or the college or the car or any of it. It is about the journey – the journey Home. I think that it is especially fitting as we prepare our hearts for Lent (next week already?!) that we remember what the journey is really about. We aren’t there yet and there is a reason for that: we need to ready our heartsfor Heaven. So this is my challenge to you and to me: let’s try our hardest not to get bogged down in the “are we there yet?” questions and focus more on this question, “Loving Lord, what can I do to ready my heart for You?” That is a question that can always be answered because until we get to Heaven and He tells us “welcome home” there is always more work to be done.