My children are the worst at getting ready. Be it outside, or to church, or to school, or to the car for an errand, they are not interested in getting ready. Sophie is sometimes so eager just to be where we’re going that she has a meltdown when we tell her to get ready. And let’s be clear — getting ready is just putting shoes on, most of the time — nothing to melt down over. But she’s so eager to be “there” that anything which stands between her and there is just overwhelming. “You mean I have to find my shoes?! Uhhhh! How can I ever do that?!!” Like it’s so hard it’s impossible. But unless we’re ready, we can’t go to our destination.
This summer we made a ritual of going for a morning walk. Something about the fresh air and change of scenery revived us all from our morning grumpies. So we would get our shoes on and get ready to go get in the stroller. Inevitably, I would forget something — keys, water, phone, shades, trip to the potty, something — after the children were “ready.” So I’d tell them just to hang on for just a second while I did whatever it was, and that I’d be right back to get them for our walk. Micah would remain, shoes on, standing at the door, awaiting my return. But Sophie. Oh Sophie. This week, I came back from a trip to the potty before our walk and found that she had discarded her shoes and jacket and was laying, face down on the floor, crying … wait for it … because she wanted to go for a walk. I literally had just told her, “Wait while mommy goes potty and then when I come back down we will go for our walk.” Why was it so hard for her to wait for 90 seconds? Why did she get un-ready while she waited?
I can only guess what might have been going through Sophie’s mind in those moments when I was upstairs. But in her, I saw a version of myself. I’m waiting, too, and I’ve been promised, “I’ll be right back for you.” I, too, have a destination awaiting me. But I’m so quick to be “un-ready” just like Sophie. I don’t live my life in the expectancy that Jesus is returning for me or may call me home at any time or wants to do a new work in my life. I’m settled here like this is my permanent crappy spot to be. I’ve taken up residence with my face in the rug, crying about my not being at my desired destination. Oh, the trials of this world. Yes, they stink. If you know anything about my story, you know that I’ve seen trials. Right now, I’m on day 22 of dizziness. Some days are ok, and some days, like today, are just bad. There have been trials in my childhood, my adolescence, and my adult life. There are always trials in life, and they are trying, and they are hard. But, I can’t let those trials I experience while I’m waiting take my eyes off of what’s coming — like new callings in Christ, growth as a person, or even my ultimate heavenly destination. Because if I can keep my eyes fixed on those goals, then everything here is so much more bearable.
I have to imagine that if Sophie really believed her walk was coming, she would have stayed ready. But she didn’t. She knew that I had gone upstairs, and she assumed, even though I told her otherwise, that the walk was not going to happen right now. She didn’t want to wait, not even for 90 seconds. But sometimes we have to wait. And we have to stay ready. We’ve been promised a heavenly destination. We’re waiting right now. And we need to use this time as best we can to serve Jesus.