Our family can be found along the road often lately. We're thankful to have a lot of folks that we want to see and we're doing our best to blend times of rest with times of purpose. I think criticism is on the minds of some when they see a picture of a family together with eyes downcast on electronic devices. I am not one of those people.
Connectivity is the word! Online learning can happen while screaming down the highway at 70 mph, conversations can be had via video call and text, electronic books can be read, and a five-year old can be occupied with a little man stomping on mushrooms.
Oh yes... the five year old, "How Much Longer Poppy?" This question can be asked on replay with no stop button. After a few days of answering this question non-stop, I found a remedy. I needed a remedy because this question framed the drive as a task and made the minutes slide by slowly. I'd rather see the drive as an adventure with scenery and experiences to be enjoyed.
And so I needed a remedy. I began answering the question, "How much longer Poppy?" with the simple phrase, "About five minutes." This seemed to confound Sterling at first. The answer just didn't make sense. She seemed troubled that my answer did not match her experience.
Finally, after some analysis in her remarkably sharp head she proclaimed, "Poppy, you're a Trick or Treat. That's your new name, Trick or Treat." And, like Halloween magic, the question disappeared as we all settled back into the journey.
Of course, there will be some that criticize my response, saying that I'm lying to my child. Well... my children know me, and they recognize my voice so well, they even catch meaning in the tone. They know when I'm teasing and they for sure know when I'm serious.
"How much longer Poppy?" I'm sure this phrase is familiar to you as well. So many times it's a phrase that we use in our own conversations with God. How much longer do I have to put up with this? How much longer do I have to suffer? How much longer until I get what I need? How much longer God?
We focus on this question and it only turns us into our own torment. Meanwhile, life is racing by and we're missing the beauty of the passing of the day.
Sometimes God is whispering to us, "About five minutes." Sometimes that's really all we can handle. Sometimes we need to recognize the utter futility of that question and just stop asking.
Wherever you are in your journey today, give thanks to God for the things that are good. That's where you'll find Him every time. After all, if God is with you, then you're right where you need to be.