"Are we there yet?"
It turns out that this constant whine of childhood is actually just one version of a question that will return again and again throughout our lives. Taking who knows how many forms ("What about now?" "Do we have to wait for...?" "How much longer...?" etc.), they really all boil down to one basic question - "When?"
Last week's Old Testament and Gospel readings are paired. The Old Testament reading was all about hitting bottom and asking for help. The Gospel was the answer, that help that was actually coming.
This week's Old Testament reading (Isaiah) doesn't wait for the obvious "when." Without even being asked, it answers the unspoken question with language so poetic that it’s even been set to music (see yesterday's post, “the big fat opera singer effect”).
But all of Isaiah’s imagery really boils down to what we always hoped for as kids when we asked "are we there yet?" The only thing you really want to hear after a "when" question - It starts now.
More on this tomorrow.