Bob Tamasy: The Perpetual Question: ‘Are We There Yet?

Monday, June 20, 2022 - by Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy
Bob Tamasy

Every parent knows the drill. We’ve embarked on a trip of several hours or more, and about half an hour into the excursion we hear the words from the back seat, “Are we there yet?” And that won’t be the last time the question’s asked.

 

Children, with attention spans of minutes, seconds or even milliseconds, become understandably impatient having to sit in a car. If you don’t have a video player or tablet to keep them occupied, the problem intensifies. “Just sit and enjoy the scenery” is like sentencing them to a life of boredom.

 

When we’ve finally arrived at the destination, the echoes of “Are we there yet?” fade.

At least for a while. But aren’t we all like this in our own way? That’s why even as adults, whether boarding an airplane, train, or even a bus, we want to know the ETA (Expected Time of Arrival). We might not spend the trip asking, “Are we there yet?” but we’ll check the time frequently along the way.

 

When we’re kids, we can’t wait to become teenagers, especially the magical year of 16. In high school, we can’t wait to graduate and go to college – or do whatever else we have in mind. We anticipate reaching age 21, when presumably we become full-fledged adults. At each juncture, we wonder, “Are we there yet?”

 

Then there are other milestones – starting a career, getting married, becoming parents, earning a big raise or promotion. Eager to “arrive,” we keep asking, “Are we there yet?” For many of us, success is an elusive goal. No matter what or how much we achieve, the answer to “Are we there yet?” is usually, “Nope. Not yet!”

 

Time and experience teach that just when you think you’ve reached your intended destination, you really haven’t. As leadership consultant Tim Kight wisely observes, “If you think you have arrived, you have a long way to go.” Arriving at a certain milestone in life typically signals we’ve only reached the next stage in life’s journey.

 

I’ve navigated the stages of infancy, toddlership (is that a word?), childhood, adolescence, teenage years, young adulthood, mature adulthood, and now what might be termed my “senior years.” Please don’t call me elderly – that’s a term for folks a lot older than me.

 

The interesting thing is, each time I felt that I had “arrived,” I soon realized – as Kight says – I still had a long way to go. In a 200-meter dash or a NASCAR competition, there’s a finish line; but in this race called life, as long as we have breath, there’s yet another stage to run.

 

This is especially true in terms of spiritual growth. Early in my life as a follower of Christ, I’d encounter a major biblical truth and think, “That’s it. Now I’m got this figured out.” Before long, however, I’d come up with new questions, or be introduced to another fundamental precept, that proved to me that in fact, I hadn’t “arrived” yet.

 

Now, decades past the time when I first realized I was “born again,” that I had become as 2 Corinthians 5:17 calls it, “a new creation” in Christ, I’ve come to the conclusion that my “ETA” is still somewhere in the distance.

 

Just as each stage of human growth has its challenges and “aha!” moments, spiritual growth also is a process that takes an entire lifetime. Because there’s so much about God and His plans and purposes to discover. No matter how old we are, or how long we’ve been walking with Jesus, we still don’t know what we don’t know.

 

Writing to believers in the city of Philippi during his Roman imprisonment, the apostle Paul acknowledged he himself had not “arrived,” that he was still “en route” on his spiritual pilgrimage. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me” (Philippians 3:12).

 

In another letter, directed to the ancient church in Corinth, Paul wrote, “Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known” (1 Corinthians 13:12).

 

So, if sometimes you find yourself peering inwardly, trying to evaluate how you’re doing spiritually, relax. We’re not there yet.


* * *

Robert J. Tamasy is a veteran journalist, former newspaper editor and magazine editor. Bob has written, co-authored and edited more than 15 books. These include the newly published, ”Marketplace Ambassadors”; “Business At Its Best: Timeless Wisdom from Proverbs for Today’s Workplace”; “Tufting Legacies,” “The Heart of Mentoring,” and “Pursuing Life With a Shepherd’s Heart.” A weekly business meditation he edits, “Monday Manna,” is translated into more than 20 languages and sent via email around the world by CBMC International. The address for his blog is www.bobtamasy.blogspot.com. His email address is btamasy@comcast.net.


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