These four words often come from the mouths of children sitting in the back seat of the car, enduring a long road trip that seems like it will never end. Lately I've been finding these words echoing in my own mind and I suspect that I'm not alone in this.
We are now eight weeks into lockdown and for many of us, it has been a very long eight weeks. Many people have celebrated birthdays and anniversaries, some have attended virtual funerals and there have been so many Zoom meetings that we have lost count. It can sometimes feel like we are never going to arrive at our destination, that we will keep calling out from the back seat, "Are we there yet?"
As our finish line keeps shifting I am reminded of a comment shared by a student in year 12 who likens this experience to running a 100m race only to be told at the end, actually, now you need to run a 200m race only to reach the end and be told now it's a 300m race. We can start to question where the finish line is.
"We could never learn to be brave and patient, if there were only joy in the world" writes Helen Keller and it rings true in our lives as well. James chapter 1 also tells us "For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing".
The response from parents whose children are asking, "Are we there yet" could be a means of distraction and redirecting the children to look out the window and notice the world around them. By shifting their focus from the finish line to the road that is being travelled and the landscape surrounding them can shift the mindset from despair to hope and wonder. This is important for us to remember as well as we continue to move through this lockdown. If we just focus on the finish line we miss so much of what is happening around us. Maybe this is a time to remember the now, to think about the things that can bring some joy, hope and to take an interest in those around us. It has been said that every crisis has unexpected opportunities. They might be simple things like noticing the beautiful sunsets, going for a walk or bike ride with your family, finishing a 1000 piece puzzle and enjoying the moments that this season can offer. This might be the perfect time to connect with family, friends and our Creator in a new way.