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Are We There Yet?

30 May

summer vacationI doubt that there are any of us with children old enough to speak who haven’t heard (probably more than once) from the deep recesses of the car or minivan, “Are we there yet?”

Rather than get annoyed by this persistent question, I usually seize the opportunity to tease my little passengers. I explain to them in convoluted ways that we’re never going to be “there.” We’re always going to be “here.” Once we arrive at our destination, it will cease to be “there,” but will suddenly turn into “here.”

Of course, I’m trying to teach my little ones about the proper use of adverbs. But I’m not just playing fun word games with them. I’m getting them to consider a basic fact of human existence: In this life there’s always going to be a crucial distinction between “here” and “there,” between where we are and where we’re going.

As Christians, even though we appreciate the significance of our earthy lives, we realize that we’re still “here,” but we want to get “there”–to the glories of heaven with our Triune God and the throngs of angels and saints. We all resonate with these words from the sacred liturgy: “When will I come to the end of my pilgrimage and enter the presence of God?” (Antiphon 1, Monday Morning Prayer, Week II).

In other words, when are we going to get there? Continue reading