‘Are we there yet?’
That’s a question we used to be bombarded with on any trip more than five minutes. Thanks to COVID-19 and all the travel restrictions that are in place, we’re rarely in the car for more than five minutes, but we haven’t been spared that question.
The only difference is, it’s no longer the kids in the backseat, but all of us who are asking: ‘Are we there yet?’
In some ways this question, and the sense of fatigue with which we ask it, is behind the second wave of COVID-19 infections in Melbourne.
When restrictions were first imposed, we all adapted well. We threw ourselves into the initial lockdown, embracing (or just enduring) the challenges of distance learning and working from home.
While there were initial inconveniences and insane incidents over toilet paper and other everyday items, before long we all settled down.
But then the curved flattened and so too did our enthusiasm.
Although at the outset it was made clear that this virus and the restrictions it imposed would be with us until a vaccine is developed, we hadn’t fully grasped what this meant and just how long it would last. And so we became complacent.
Sure, it’s easy to blame ‘those’ people down in Melbourne, or the ‘government’ or anybody else, but we all grew a little lax.
In a sense that’s completely understandable, given how vigorously we threw ourselves into the initial response.
There is only so long you can run on adrenaline, and even the best runners can’t sprint for an entire marathon.
The second wave has hit harder, in part because we’re fatigued. Just when we were expecting life to return to ‘normal’ we’re find ourselves taking a big step backwards. And so we ask ourselves: ‘Are we there yet?’
The Bible doesn’t give us any special insight into when this will all be over. But there are a few ways it does help us as we ask, ‘Are we there yet?’
Firstly, it legitimises the question and lets us know that it’s alright to ask it, even of God. Over and over again the Psalms ask God: ‘How long?’
Secondly, it reminds us that patience is a virtue, and one that God’s people have exhibited throughout history. Think of Abraham waiting for God’s promises to be fulfilled, the long wait of the Exile, and the even longer wait for the Messiah to arrive. Now we wait, with eager expectation for Christ to return.
Finally, the Bible teaches us what we should do while we wait. The last thing we want is to ask ‘are we there yet?’ and for God to answer ‘yes’ but then we find we’re totally unprepared.
Think of all the parables Jesus told about servants being caught napping when their master came home.
While we wait, we’re to devote ourselves to doing God’s will, seeking day by day to become more like Christ, and sharing the light, life and love of Jesus with those around us.
Friends, while we wait, let’s do so with patience, faith and hope so we smile as we ask:
‘Are we there yet?’
Christ Church Anglican, Echuca