Are We There Yet?

This people says, The time has not come, even the time for the house of the Lord to be rebuilt.” ~ Haggai 2:2

Are we there yet? How much longer before we get there? Are we there yet? I have to go to the bathroom. Are we there yet? I’m hungry. Are we there yet? I have to go again. Are we there yet? Bobby won’t stop touching me. Are we there yet? Bobby keeps looking at me. Are we there yet? I’m bored. Are we there yet? This is taking forever. Are we there yet? But I really do have to use the bathroom this time. Are we there yet?

Are we there yet? Admit it. Your kids aren’t the only ones thinking that question. They just have the necessary honesty to keep asking it. And asking it. And asking it. And… Well, I’m sure you understand. Those of us who are parents have all been on that trip at some point in time. You do the best you can to prepare. Pillows and blankets in the hopes that they will sleep. Coloring books and crayons. Snacks. Video games. Portable DVD players. A sound proof barrier installed between the front and back seats. Anything and everything in the hopes of making that really, really, really LLLLLLOOOOOONNNNNNGGGGGG trip something less than a cross between an ancient Chinese torture technique and a weekend with the in-laws. (Oh wait… I didn’t just type that, did I?) But in the end all of your best efforts prove futile. 30 minutes into the 8 hour trip and they have become restless and you are beginning to regret the decision to save some money and drive this year. Oh well…

It’s easy to lose sight of time. Minutes can seem like hours. Hours can seem like minutes. So often, it all depends on the activity. If I’m at work, the clock slows down to a snail’s pace. But a day at the amusement park with the family? The time flies by in the blink of an eye. Perhaps there is no area where this inequality is more pronounced than as it relates to our spiritual life. Who hasn’t been the victim of the 2 minute prayer time? You know what I mean. You’ve been praying your heart out for “hours.” But when you look at your watch it’s only been two minutes. Same thing with Bible study. You think you have been reading for 30 minutes easily but the time tells you it’s really only been 5 minutes. And don’t get me started on sermons. Even the most eloquent pastor (myself included) has managed to make 15 minutes seem like and hour. Yes, it’s easy to lose sight of time.

In the book of Haggai Israel had lost all sense of time. God had commissioned His people to perform a very specific task, i.e. rebuild the Temple that had been destroyed in an earlier generation. They had started well (actually laid the foundation) but at some point in time they managed to get sidetracked. And before they fully realized it, one day of inactivity had turned into 16 years of apathy. Talk about losing track of time. That, my friends, is the definition of losing perspective and all sense of priority. And to make matters worse? The people had become convinced that they were just fine in their quagmire of indifference and lethargy. And as it always does, life kept moving forward. They went to work. They went home. They went back to work. They worked on their homes. On and on and on it went until they woke up one morning and began to wonder where all the time had went.

But then God stepped in. God interrupted their routine. He redirected their aimless and pointless living. He pointed out that the heart of the problem was their own misguided perspective. They had gotten sidetracked. They had lost sight of the initial vision. They had forgotten their divine calling. And the worst part, they had lost all sense of time. Look at it. “This people says, The time has not come,…” God has said now. But they had said later. God has said immediately. But they had said eventually. God has spoken in the present tense. But they had heard it in the future tense. God has said today. But they had said tomorrow. In their hearts and in their minds God’s time was simply not their time.

But my guess is that they are not the only ones guilty of such attitudes. God says forgive. But we choose to hold on to the hurt. God says love. But we choose to hate. God says rejoice. But we choose to complain. God says trust. But we choose to worry. God says obey. But we choose to disobey. Over and over and over again it goes. He speaks but we say something different with our actions. Whatever your need or issue today, I challenge you to hear God’s word of life. What He said to Israel is what He also says to us. THE TIME HAS COME!!! Time to forgive… time to love… time to rejoice… time to trust… time to obey. Stop making excuses and start hearing His voice. Stop waiting for tomorrow. Start embracing His Word today. The time has come.