by Kristin on April 15, 2011

in five-minute-friday

It’s Five Minute Friday—time to let go of the pressures of the week and just write whatever comes to mind. I love the freedom in this exercise, but it’s always a bit scary, too. You should give it a try! Today’s prompt from The Gypsy Mama is “On distance…”


On distance…

“Are we almost there?”

“How much longer?”

Most of us who are parents (and all of us who were once children) know those phrases as whining pleas from the backseat of a car. And if we are parents and have to be the ones to come up with an answer, there are so many ways to frame it. What is distance? Compared to what? Compared to the last long journey we took? Or compared to the distance already behind us on this journey?

It’s funny, those phrases also make me think of the Psalms. “How long, oh Lord?” There’s the same agony (except usually stemming from more true pain and suffering than a kid on a car trip). When I think about the distance I’ve already traveled, I feel one thing. I look back and see how far I’ve come since my divorce, since finding the church I’m a part of, since learning how to love and forgive myself and others.

But then I turn forward again, and there’s a whole different distance to face. It can seem exciting, as I look forward with hope to what lies ahead. It can also seem too long, stretching out toward some place I’m not even quite sure I want to travel to. What is the distance of the next leg of my journey? How long, oh Lord? And can I trust that I will be cared for along the way?

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  • B

    What a great take on distance … Thanks for sharing!

    B – from 5 Minute Fridays

  • Sarah

    I know what you mean about looking back at where you’ve come from and on to what is ahead–it’s easy to feel overwhelmed! Thankfully, we serve a great God who is the Faithful One! I find encouragement in Philippians 3:13-15, which says: Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you.
    (You should also check out Hebrews 12:1-2.) Thanks for posting!

  • ed cyzewski

    When it comes to these kinds of questions, I usually ask God how long until I get to this goal, and God wants to know how long I plan to continue getting in the way of that goal. Or I’ll find that I’m asking God to take me somewhere I shouldn’t go. Either way, as I look back, the time I spend asking God to take me somewhere usually overlooked some crucial thing that God wanted to address in my life. All the same, I still hate waiting and wish God would hurry up already… ;)

  • Theresa@HeavenlyGlimpses

    I love that…looking at distance as how far I’ve come. Wow. Yet, we still look onward to where we are headed and wonder if He can be trusted to get us to where we are going. Like the Israelites, right? It’s so easy to look around us and say, “dah!” Just look at the miracles you’ve experienced. Why would you ever doubt? Yet, we’re all guilty.

  • Diana Trautwein

    Lovely reflections, Kristin. As always, I appreciate both your skill and your insights. I think there are lots of good reasons for the repetitive theme in scripture of remembering – looking at the distance we’ve come is a terrifically important part of trust-building about the future. But you are so right, we still wonder and worry, don’t we? Maybe that’s why ancient Israel was littered with stone memorials of all sorts – visible reminders of God’s faithfulness at a certain point in time. Some days, I could really use an Ebenezer of some sort!

  • Jennifer

    I thought that same thing, that there is the distance we’ve traveled and the distance still to come. And it never seems easy or short! But you know there will be a pit stop and a lunch break and another leg and a detour and God has already gone before you. Lovely.
    And if I may, it reminds me of driving to PA when E was very little. He asked “The Question” when we were still in MO, so many miles away. I said, “It’s just up the road here.” And he said, “But I can’t see it.” xo

  • Ebenezer Adokwei

    Marvelous piece of work on distance.You really did it spectacularly.Great work.
    Meanwhile Plz do pass by my blog on freeing your mind, follow and comment to improve my works too.Thanks.

  • Jennifer Samountry

    You were right yours was similar to mine. :) God will definitely care for you on your way. From all of our suffering that is the one thing I have learned. He has carried me and been close to me. Congratulations on how far you have come.

  • Ray Hollenbach

    Well I’d call that five minutes pretty well spent, Kristin! From the backseat of the car, to the Psalms, to rebuilding our lives after divorce, we live in a world of spaces. Amazingly, God himself ordained time and distance as part of the human experience. He must’ve had a good reason.

  • Kristin T.

    B, thank you! I’ll have to head over and see what you wrote.

    Sarah, those verses are great encouragement. Just what I needed!

    ed, that sounds all-too familiar! In my case, it’s most often about God wanting me to slow down and look around, maybe learn something. :)

    Theresa, yes, it’s a lot like the Israelites! We experience great wonders but we so quickly forget, falling back into doubt. The older I get, though, the easier it seems to trust.

    Diana, I love the theme of “remembering,” and really like how you tied it into this: “…looking at the distance we’ve come is a terrifically important part of trust-building about the future.” So true.