From the pen of Dr. Sam Jones
“Are we there yet?” These are the words of Lindsay Kingston and Kevin Kingston; they are the two children in the 2005 family movie entitled “Are We There Yet?” Nick Persons, played by Ice Cube, offers to transport his girlfriend’s (Suzanne Kingston played by Nia Long) children to her in Vancouver. The trip with these two children from Portland to Vancouver was a nightmare for Nick. The children constantly kept asking, “Are we there yet?”
The movie caused me to think life is like a journey. Those who are going to be happy and remain happy MUST develop patience for the trip. Patience is a fruit of the spirit which is to manifest itself in the lives of believers (cf. Gal. 5:22-24). Peter says, it’s a quality which needs to be added to the believers, if they are going to “make their calling and election sure” (cf. 2 Pet. 1:5-10). Throughout this journey, believers are prone to encounter numerous obstacles or unpredicted events.
Things will happen and some will be totally unexpected. In the times of unpredicted events, we need to develop the attitude of Job. In Job 7:1, he raised the question, “Is there not a time of hard service for man on earth?” Later in Job 14:14, he responds to his question by stating that “...all the days of my hard service I will wait, Till my change comes.” When unexpected or unplanned events occur in the lives of believers, they MUST learn to be patient. Saint Francis of Assisi said the following about patience,
“No one will ever know the full depth of his capacity
for patience and humility as long as nothing bothers
him. It is only when times are troubled and difficult
that he can see how much of either is in him.”
The following story is a great example of patience that each of us need to develop to face life’s challenges and people. The story is told about a kindergarten teacher who was helping one of the children put on his boots. They worked together to push and pull and tug... and it seemed like she’d never get those boots on him. The boots just didn’t seem to want to go on. They FINALLY got the second boot on when the little boy looked up and said, “Teacher, they’re on the wrong feet.” She looked and sure enough, they were. It wasn’t any easier pulling the boots off than it was putting them on. She managed to keep her cool as together they worked to get the boots back on---this time on the right feet. He then announced, “These aren’t my boots.” She literally bit her tongue and controlled herself as she asked, “Well, why didn’t you say so?” Once again she struggled to help him pull the ill-fitting boots off...and then he said, “They’re my brother’s boots. My mom made me wear them.” She didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She mustered up the grace and courage she had left to wrestle the boots on his feet again. Then she said, “Now, where are your mittens?” He sweetly looked up at her and said, “I stuffed them in the toes of my boots.” She just smiled. This is the kind of patience that we MUST develop to successfully confront the encounters of this life. Are You There Yet?