"Are we nearly there yet? .... ...."
‘Are we nearly there yet?’ I remember a friend telling me that, having set off from Chorley, they’d got as far as Wigan when this question was first asked – and they were driving to the south of France.
‘Are we nearly there yet?’ is a question we may well feel like asking as we wonder how this pandemic will work out. We’ve been locked down, then it’s been eased, but at the time of writing there are local lock-downs in East Lancashire with questions about them coming to Preston, and who knows what it will be by the time you get to read this – and when it all will end? That is anyone’s guess, which is itself a bit disconcerting.
‘Are we nearly there yet?’ is a question which reflects a hope that even if we aren’t sure how things are going to work out, there is someone out there who has their finger on the pulse and who has the big picture under control.
‘Are we nearly there yet?’ reflects an unknowing, and maybe even a little fear about the future and what it will bring.
So how do we respond to this question? For others? For ourselves? Perhaps it’s less about the question than about the resources we have to handle that sense of unknowing which feels so discombobulating. As Christians our ultimate answer has to be God, but that seems too trite an answer in the face of all the complexities with which this virus has confronted us. So perhaps we need to dig deeper into the resources of God in Jesus Christ, in the Holy Spirit, and among ourselves as the Body of Christ in this place.
There are many places, experiences, texts, prayers and people which can inspire, encourage, uplift and even challenge us in days such as these. In recent weeks I’ve been reflecting on verses from the end of Romans 8:
‘In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord’.
‘Are we nearly there yet?’ If we entrust ourselves to God, does it matter?
Rev’d Stephen Cooper