Hanging out with my two kids is a blast. I love their company. They make me laugh, make me think deeply, and I get to eat burgers. Travelling places with them is however akin to being strapped into a chair and being made to listen to Chris De Burgh sing “Lady in Red” endlessly without a break. The thing is; I love journeys. I love to see new stuff, interact with new surroundings and enjoy the whole experience of doing something/being somewhere, different.
My kids however tend to bombard me with:
“are we there yet (cliché I know but it really does happen), how much longer, I need the toilet.”
They are without mercy in this. There is no respite … no let up, no way out. Any diversionary tactic used to thwart them is usually overcome before you can say, “I’m a parent, get me out of here!”
Here’s the thing. They hate the journey but love the destination.
I’ve noticed that Christians fall into different camps. There are those who love the journey and those who can only think of the destination. Rarely do you meet a Christian who loves both.
Some believers in the UK, typically more reformed theologically, think only of heaven or hell. They preach only about the end game, often accompanied by incredible focus and intensity. Many preachers/teachers from this camp often stay single as their intense focus on the destination allows for little else (however, this could be said to justifiable, according to Paul 1 Corinthians 7:8).
Then there are those from maybe a more charismatic perspective. They love the journey. They love life to the full in the here and now. They long for healing and wholeness, Kingdom power right now and may work hard to see God’s Kingdom in evidence … but they speak little of eternity or judgement.
It seems to me we need both. Jesus came to give us life to the full (John 10:10). He also spoke of judgement to come (Matthew 11:24, Matthew 12:36) and told us to look for the signs and warn people (Colossians 1:28). It is said that the Kingdom is now but not yet …”
It’s a tension and a tough one to resolve. Now where did I put my car keys?