Living in suburban America, a car is a near necessity for life. A decent portion of each day is spent in transit. A recent Harvard University study revealed that the average American suburbanite engages in 13 automobile commutes each day! This stat reminds me of how much of our lives is spent waiting to get to where we are going.
As a father, some of my commutes are spent driving with my 3 year old son Joshua. As recently as a few months ago, when I would get in the car with Josh for a commute, I would do what I normally do when I get in the car . . . I would turn on the radio to listen to the latest commentary on sports radio. I would turn the radio on at volume level 4, but as the road noise increased (and as my son’s talking would increase) I would find myself turning the volume up to 6 by the time I hit Main Street. To my shame, I was wasting some quality time with my son listening to what Jim and Al had to say!
After a while, my wife noticed this pattern, and asked me if I had considered TALKING to my son during my times of transit. That comment woke me up to what I was missing, and I have spent our drives talking (or better put listening) to my son in the car ever since. The time between here and there is a great time of fellowship between father and son.
In Genesis 12 God comes to Abram and promises “I will make of you a great nation, and I will bless you and make your name great, so that you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and him who dishonors you I will curse, and in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” In a sense God comes to Abram and asks him to “get in the car” with God at the wheel. The promised destination was a place full of blessing, where the childless Abram and his wife Sarai would have many children, be the royalty of a great nation living in a beautiful land, and be God’s chosen channel to bless all the families of the world. That was certainly a destination that Abram wanted to go to, so he hopped on board with God by faith. The ride to the destination, however, turned out to be longer than Abram had probably first imagined.
Abram found himself in transit with God behind the wheel as Abram and Sarai rode 25 years (after the promises were given) before they had their first child. Their descendants did not own the promised land for hundreds of years after the promise was given. Jesus Christ, the descendant of Abram (the One through whom the blessings of God would be channeled to all the earth) would not be born in Bethlehem for nearly 2,000 years after the promise was given. Now that is one long commute!!!
What Abram found out, however, was that the time he spent in transit to the promises of God being fulfilled was time he got to spend talking with and building his relationship with God. Abram found that the time between here and there was a great time of fellowship between Heavenly Father and son.
The Christmas season is a time when many of us can’t wait to get to the big day. We want to open our presents (or give our presents) today instead of waiting the three weeks to the big day. As we wait for Christmas, however, let our waiting remind us of the 2,000 years Abram waited to see the source of blessing born. If he could wait 2,000 years, surely we can wait 21 days, right? As we wait, let’s use our time in transit to build our relationship with our Heavenly Father who is behind the wheel.