These four short simple words can send shivers down your spine and drive you to distraction. So let me explain, the situation is a family outing with small children. You get in the car and explain that it is a long journey of three hours and you will stop halfway there in an hour and a half. Everyone is excited by the prospect of a big and long adventure, you drive the usual roads before you get to new unchartered territory. A whole ten minutes have elapsed, before the question is asked, “Are we there yet?” You explain that there are over eighty minutes to go before your first stop and two hours and fifty minutes until you arrive. This repeats itself every five to ten minutes, it is a real skill not to explode before you reach your destination. When I first started this destructive dialogue, I had to guess how much longer was left and I often just guessed badly which made things worse. Now with the help of satellite navigation, there is an estimate of the time of arrival. However, as you encounter traffic and hold-ups even this slips away from the intended arrival time.
In March we ask the same question, is it Spring yet? This can be a difficult question to answer because Spring incorporates many different features. However, Spring refers both to the season of weather and time. It also incorporates ideas of rebirth, rejuvenation, renewal, resurrection and regrowth. None of that long list, happen all in one day. Spring has sprung when you determine what you base it on. For most of us, it is when it gets warmer and brighter which changes each year depending on which weather system is in control. Perhaps we need to rely on nature to tell us, when we see the bulbs appearing and the blossom in the trees again, it is not an exact science it can be early or late. To avoid this interpretation of the season, Spring starts on 1st March for the Meteorological calendar, 20th March at the equinox or perhaps British Summer Time on 27th March, take your pick!
As we move through March there will be events and dates that will tell us that Spring has finally come. It could be the daffodils, the tree blossom or the spring lambs. From the point of view of resurrection, you still have a long wait as Easter is Sunday 17th April. I suspect by Easter people will complain that we have missed Spring altogether! Unless there is a very long and cold period in the next month or two, which I do not wish for.
Instead of asking the question, are we there yet? We should focus on the journey and what it reveals to us, it is easy to miss important details if our focus is elsewhere. I like the idea that at this very moment all that matters is what I do now in this present moment. Each new moment is unique and to be cherished. There is so much more to engage with if we stop and look around. I am sure God is present in each moment, it would be a waste to miss out!