Well into a very slow automobile journey back home from a “trip to Grandma’s”, the inevitable cry goes out from the children in the back seat... "Are we there yet"? All parents will understand.
Some years ago while traveling with our four children on a long trip, well past sunset with the sky darkening, a sleepy cry went out from the back seat as the car slowed down for traffic… Are We There Yet?
I admit that I smiled a patient smile, recalling my own whining of those same words MANY years before as we slowly navigated the two lane curvy, hilly roads of Kentucky and Tennessee driving south from Ohio in the 1940s, Even though we were surrounded by Love, safe and comfortable right where we were, we wanted to be somewhere else! Some things never change!
It seems today that our individual lives are rushed, forced to some degree, pressed on by a reaching out to the future and what it may bring. While we may long for relaxation, peace, time to contemplate, to enjoy, our world seems to be:
Hurry, Scurry, Rush, and Worry,
Race Ahead to See What Comes Next!!
Why is it that where we ARE, even though we are surrounded by Love, is often not where we WANT to be? If at work, do we wish to be at home? If at home, do we wish to be somewhere else? Do we frequently feel the need to be in some other “place”.
Is it that we believe that the call of some distant place is more fascinating, dreaming that if we were only THERE, we would be happy, excited, fulfilled, satisfied. Maybe we entertain a sense of frustration or boredom feeling that our present location, our present time, our present situation is somehow not enough.
The lovely picture of “Mother Snail” with baby on board was a pleasant wake-up. Gliding along slowly on her muscular foot, she seems serene and content with her progress, perhaps comforted by her little hitchhiker and carrying her portable home on her back, having everything she needs at this very moment.
Often in business and other activities in which we are engaged we look to the future as “an escape” , a quick getaway from the work we are doing. A favorite hymn has often served to comfort and slow down the temptation to rush ahead to the future, opening thought to the NOW of the present experience.
The first verse asks:
Why search the future and the past?
Why do ye look with tearful eyes
And seek far off for paradise?
Before your feet Life’s pearl is cast. (1)
The Bible, written centuries ago but still amazingly pertinent to today’s experience proclaims: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear,we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is"(2)
(We can also add a little footnote to that verse as a reminder… We are Loved… NOW, HERE, In This Place at this Time, TODAY!! )
So often we are tempted to look just beyond where we are to the next human goal. The Bible offers a clear view of how differently Jesus of Nazareth operated. Expressing patience, love and understanding, he was “in the moment”, living out each step of his experience. Not rushing forward but healing in every moment, taking each opportunity to express love and patience right where he was. Jesus often went to be alone in a quiet place where he could listen to the still small voice of truth. His best work was not in running feverishly from town to town, but done in the quiet of prayer and communication with his Father.
And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation:
Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. (3)
From his example we can realize a better sense of our spiritual existence and present perfection and our reflection of God who is LOVE!! Most important concern should not be where is our body but where is our thought!! Love is a here and now!!
If snails could smell fragrances, we can see a lovely picture of “Mother Snail” setting a wonderful example for us, stopping to smell the flowers on her leisurely trip forward. Maybe that sweet Mother Snail knows the last verse of that comforting hymn and sings it as she slides along…
Then rise and greet the signs that prove
Unreal the ages’ long lament;
The “one far-off divine event” Is now,
and that event is Love.(4)
Safe travels Mrs. Snail
(1) Christian Science Hymnal Hymn 391
(2) I John 3:2
(3) Luke 17:20 – 21
(4) Christian Science Hymnal Hymn 391