I’m reading a great book about ADD in which the author describes a child’s concept of time. He says that, for a little one, time is either right now or eternity. A child cannot understand an hour or a week. To them, anything beyond ‘now’ seems like forever. That explains why they constantly ask, “Are we there yet?”
One of the characteristics of a person with Attention Deficit Disorder is an underdeveloped sense of time. As I read this, I wondered if everyone has this problem, at least occasionally. Is that what is going on when I say, “I remember it so well that it seems like yesterday” or when a trial is so great the sense of ‘now’ overwhelms all hope for the future?
Whether I have ADD or not, God sometimes appeals to the child in me. He tells me not to be anxious about the future, only to take care of the issues and challenges for each day. Right now is important, and certainly is the only part of time I can do anything with.
Yet God also offers promises for eternity. While that may seem so far off that it will never come (are we there yet?), He gives glimpses of what it will be like to encourage me and keep me from becoming discouraged. He also makes (and keeps) huge promises for the trip itself.
In Genesis 28, Jacob was about to make a journey out of the land of Canaan, away from all that was familiar. He must have been anxious because God appeared to him in a dream and reminded him of the promises He made to Abraham and Isaac, and that those promises included him. Perhaps Jacob was aware of how far off their fulfilment seemed, or how long his trip would take. In any case, God gave him even more assurance.
Verse 15 says, “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you.”
These words remind me of another incident in the gospels. Jesus invites the disciples to come with Him in a boat to the other side of the lake. In the middle of the lake, a great storm blows in and the disciples are terrified. In fact, instead of saying “Are we there yet?” they are convinced they will not make it at all, but die in the storm.
I can relate to that. I’ve had times in my life where I thought I’d never make it safely through to the security of dry ground; the storms were just too great. Like the disciples, I forgot that Jesus promised to take me to the other side. He didn’t say there would be no storms, but there is no doubt about my destination.
Jacob heard the same thing. It was as if God was saying to His child, “Don’t be anxious. It may seem to you like you will never get there, but your Father is right here with you. I will stay here and hold your hand, and I will bring you to your destination. I have never failed you before and I am not going to fail you now.”
A child hears those comforting words and may doze off, content that Daddy is going to make it happen so he can sleep until they make it to their destination. For my trip through life, I know God doesn’t want me to be asleep, but He does want me to rest in the same promises that He gave to Jacob, and that Jesus gave to His disciples.
No, I am not there yet, but He offers assurance for right now—He will stay right beside me, and even more assurance for eternity—I will be with Him forever. ADD or not, that just about covers it.