Every parent has been there. The trip ahead is long. The travel schedule is tight. You hit the road with a full tank, confident the plan you have crafted beats anything AAA could muster. But twenty minutes down the highway you hear a small, squeaky voice from the backseat. The artillery begins to bombard you. The questions.
Some you expected. Are we there yet? How much longer? Can we get something to eat?
The next barrage is unexpected. Who was the first person to decide to squeeze those things on a cow and drink whatever came out? Why does our dog get mad at us when we blow in his face but when we take him on a car ride he sticks his head out the window?
Every parent has been there. Questions from the backseat. You come to expect them. Every journey to a destination includes them. The same is true for the journey of faith.
Just like kids on a trip we get tired of the journey. We want to know when we can stop. We get tired of serving. We get tired of waiting. We get tired of the people we’re traveling with.
And we grumble. The Israelites did. They complained about the food, about the place they were traveling, and about their ‘driver’ Moses.
Grumbling does not set well with God. In fact, our grumbling can lead to our wandering. When offered the chance to leave Kadesh and enter the Promised Land, the Israelites listened to the fear-filled report from ten spies instead of the faith-full report of Joshua and Caleb.
Kadesh means “Spring of Decision” and it was time for one. They were in the right place to make the right decision. But the majority made the wrong one. The people wished they had died in the desert. So God told them they would get their wish. They would wander until the unbelieving generation died out.
And they did. They wandered in the Wilderness for forty years. And their children were impacted by their decisions.
The decisions you make affect those around you, just like the decisions the Israelites made at Kadesh. You can decide to grumble or be thankful. You can decide to turn away from God or turn toward God. You can decide to wander without purpose through life or follow God’s vision for your life.
Just don’t forget that those in the backseat will be affected by your decisions.