Is 20 Long?

Several years ago, we were traveling and the children started asking that awful question, “How much longer?” My husband told them 20 more minutes.

Then sweet little ThingFour, who was four at the time, called out from the back seat, “Is 20 long?”

Is 20 long? The question made us smile. So innocent. So sweet.

Is 20 long? ThingFour didn’t grasp the concept of time yet. Seconds. Minutes. Hours. Those words don’t mean much to preschoolers. Unless we explain it in terms they can understand. We would say, “Twenty minutes is a little bit less than a Veggie Tales video. We wouldn’t have time to watch all of Rack, Shack, and Benny.”

Is 20 long? How often do our questions to God reflect this same innocence, ignorance, inability to understand? Explaining God’s character to humans. His infiniteness to our finite minds. His love to selfish people. His wisdom to foolish people. His otherness. Well, that must be as difficult as trying to explain 20 minutes to a child who has no concept of time.

We come to God, the Creator of all the universe, with our deep, theological questions. We debate with each other this doctrine or that. We feel intelligent and grown-up and wise because we grasp some crumb of Truth. But I bet God hears us the same way we heard my son — a sweet little voice calling out, “Is 20 long?”

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