Are We “There” Yet?

Our family loves to travel. We sync our vacation calendar with the school schedule and take off for a getaway almost every Christmas, Spring and Summer break. With four kids, travel is expensive, and so we often drive to help keep costs down and save money for fun once we get to our destination. This of course stretches the trip travel time out considerably! Now that my kids are older it doesn’t happen as often, but when they were younger it felt like we were barely out of the driveway before we heard one of them call out from the back seat, “Are we there yet?” And then with every stop or slow down moment along the way, the question would arise again… and again… and again!

Are we there yet — that question follows us through life doesn’t it? Not just from our kids calling out from their comfy little car seats, but from our own hearts as we travel through this journey called life. We are always on the journey between where we have come from and where we are going. There are destinations and check points all along the way, and when we get to the next “there” wherever that “there” is thinking we have finally arrived; we find there is yet again another destination to look forward to. It keeps moving ahead of us. We can’t quite catch it, and we never fully arrive. As long as we are here on this earth God still has a purpose for our present moment and all future days to come and He is both using us now and preparing us for then.

There is no problem with looking ahead in anticipation. We are to live with vision for what’s to come. The challenge comes when we are so forward focused that we are missing out on what God wants us to do and the joy and contentment He wants us to live with in the here and now. I struggled with this for years when my kids were young. Recognizing raising and nurturing them is a part of my now moment of purpose was eye-opening for me.

Ephesians 5:15-17 says, “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do.”

Let’s be intentional about how we live right now. Every day matters, and the best thing we can do in this forward focused journey called life is to be fully alive and awake to the value of the now moment. Only when we truly see the purpose this time, this day, this minute holds for us and our ability to touch and impact the people around us right where we are, can we really make the most difference. If God already wanted us “there” we’d be “there”. Until then – let’s take a deep breath, relax, pray, trust God, and open eyes to all the value of the here and now.

Copyright © 2014 by Amy O’Donnell. All Rights Reserved.


Vision Leaks


Where there is no vision, the people perish… Proverbs 29:18

Have you ever gone through a season where you felt you lost the spring in the step of what you do? Maybe you are there currently, and you’ve gotten to the point where you are praying, “God, just help me make it through today.”

I know what it’s like to go from being passionate about something, to feeling like I’m punching in and doing my time, asking God to give me the grace and strength to stand, even when everything in me feels bored, tired of my post and so wanting a bigger adventure and taller mountain to climb.

In those moments, the problem is often not our post, but our vision. Chances are it is lacking. The truth is, vision leaks.

If you have found yourself in a place where you can relate, I want to encourage you to be diligent about remembering why you are where you are, doing what you do. Think about the future you are working toward. What do you want to see accomplished in your relationships with your family and friends? How does what you do in the workplace or ministry contribute to making people’s lives better? What do you want your life to stand for?

When I find myself in the place of feeling unexcited about what I do, I go to God and ask him to show me again, tell me again, and fill my heart again with his passion for the lost, the hurting and the broken. I ask him to lead me by the Spirit and to use me. I take a step back from the tasks in front of me and scan the big picture again… and again, until I remember why I do what I do. And I spend a lot of time in prayer about it, because I recognize how important it is not to lose sight of “The Why.”

We extended the desire to live with vision to our family. We want to teach our kids to remember they were created by God to make a difference in the world. To help with this, we came up with a family mission statement. I am thinking about having it framed and hanging it on our door to remind us as we step into the world what our vision is, “ The O’Donnells live to unveil God’s love and glorify Him in our every day lives.” That statement pretty much covers it all for us – inside and outside the home.

How about you? What do you do to keep vision alive and fresh? Does your family have a mission statement? Do you personally?