Getting There

“The Lord called Samuel again, a third time. And Samuel got up and went to Eli, and said, “Here I am, for you called me.” Then Eli perceived that the Lord was calling the boy.” – I Samuel 3:8

My husband and I have a little in-phrase. “We’re getting there,” we have said to each other, at least 4,167 times in our 21 years together.

“We’re getting there” is code for, “we’re almost through this perilous/confusing/exhausting/frustrating time.” We almost have this figured out. We are almost the masters of this situation that is kicking our butts at the moment. We’ve said this to each other during grisly end-of-semesters, complicated pregnancies, through the grief of losing parents, the marathon of laborious travel, parenting, new jobs, old fights.

Last night, as we surveyed the unique horror that is a house ¾ packed for a cross-country move, we fell into bed, done in. “I don’t think we’re getting there,” I said, philosophically. “I don’t think there’s actually a THERE there. I think we’re here. I think HERE is all we get.”

Of course, at some point, we will actually leave the house, and so will most of our stuff, somehow (I hear there is a thing known as the magic of professional movers?). We will get in our car, drive 3,500 miles with a teenager and a tweenager, and will, presumably, arrive on the opposite coast, alive and intact.

But where we will be at any given moment is: here, not there. Because really, HERE is all we get.

The Lord called to young Samuel three times. Three times Samuel got up, sleepy, from his bed, and presented himself for duty. “Here I am,” said Samuel. God called Samuel to do big things, hard things, called him to a work that was never quite done–just as we are called. But Samuel’s joy and strength lay not in getting there, but in being here.


God, here we are: You and me. Let me find the relief of rest from heavy labors. Let me find the joy in being right where I am, just for today. Amen.

About the Author
Molly Baskette is Senior Minister of the First Church of Berkeley, California, and the author of the best-selling Real Good Church and Standing Naked Before God.