Ever say that when you were a kid? You were on a road trip, and your sense of time was just developing. Your mom or dad may have become exceedingly tired of you asking, “Are we there yet?”

Most of us in our culture have a fast-food mentality. That’s one of the downsides of our electronic world. We are used to getting anything we want right now.

It’s not just limited to fast food restaurants and microwaves. We expect instant information via the internet, instant communication, entertainment on demand, instant shopping and instant money.

I think we’ve come to expect instant relationships as well, and that’s part of the reason many marriages are in trouble. If something  doesn’t work, we’ve become used to throwing it away rather than working hard to fix things.

Nothing good ever really comes fast.

Thinking about food, microwave dinners or fast-food sandwiches may fill your stomach in a hurry. But a gourmet meal may take hours to prepare, and demands to be enjoyed slowly, savoring every bite.

Shouldn’t that same principle apply in other areas of life? If we truly want something, value something, waiting and working for it is part of reality.

And it makes the joy of experiencing the rewards much more fulfilling.

What if a brain surgeon grew frustrated with his training, and decided to quit after six months instead of enduring the seven years of grueling hard work it takes to finish training? Would you want him operating on YOUR brain?

Or how about a young violinist who decided that practicing six hours a day was too hard, and just quit? Can you imagine paying money to hear her play year after year after year?

The very best things are worth waiting for. And they take time to develop.

Marriage is one of those things. Some couples have a much easier time than others in developing a healthy, happy, secure marriage. But most go through many frustrating and painful problems while learning to know each other, learning to forgive, becoming easier to live with, and learning the dance of true intimacy. If you give up too soon, you miss out on the very best!

Career and business take time. It’s been said that to become the best at anything, it takes 10,000 hours of practice. How many hours have you put into learning and practicing and developing what you want to be? Yes, jobs change. Careers change. But I know people who move from one thing to another so fast they never become good at anything.

Spiritual insight also needs time to develop. That’s not unlike what people call wisdom. And it doesn’t happen automatically. Like any relationship, you learn so much more about God by not giving up on your relationship with Him. You come to understand things about eternity and values and more – if you keep paying attention. How “in tune” would your spiritual barometer be if you invested 10,000 hours in its development?

None of this may be easy. Marriage can be hard work. Practicing anything can be tedious and boring. And spiritual growth often comes on the heels of very difficult experiences.

Are we there yet?

I hope not! As grateful and excited as I am by what my life has become to this point, I will never stop growing. And I hope you don’t either!

Your turn: Where have you been frustrated by “not being there yet?” Is there something you have stuck with, and now are reaping the rewards? Are you tempted to stop something important because it seems nothing will ever work out? I’d love to hear from you.