Car rides and conversations in our house with our kids when they were growing up usually went like this, and I’m sure you might have heard these questions before. But, our answers might be unfamiliar.  (Be sure to add that whiney voice sound as you read the questions.)

“How much farther?”

“27 miles”

“How much longer until we get there?”

“27 minutes”

“How many more miles?”


“How much longer until dinner?”

“27 minutes”

“How many days are we going to have to be there?”


No matter the question, our answer was always “27.” I must admit, I stole that idea from my brother-in-law as he always gave that answer to his kids, too.

Eventually, our kids learned not to ask because they already knew the answer: “27.” They also learned to have patience as the miles passed, and we arrived at our destination before they knew it. Dinner got to the table, time spent with family and friends was enjoyed far more than could ever be imagined.

As we enter the season of Advent and our hurry to get to Christmas—with the radio already playing all the Christmas carols, and stores with Christmas decorations put up before Halloween was over—it is no wonder our children are in a hurry to get places and wonder how soon we will be there.

I too often wonder, how soon, Lord, how soon will you come? Isn’t that what we sing the first Sunday? “O Come, O Come Immanuel?” With all the mess we’ve brought into this world, the time for Christ to come should be soon, and very soon.

So, Lord, how much longer? How much farther to go before we can end our journey of waiting? I know, I know….. 27!