THE “IN BETWEEN” TIME
ARE WE THERE YET?!
Well, tomorrow I have a 15-hour drive, back to Indiana, after 30 days working in Florida (and a few vacation days in the Caribbean). I’ll be back to the “COLD REALITY” of the Midwest. “Cold”, of course, is all “relative”. When we were down south, you could identify the native Floridians: they were bundled up like Alaskans some days, when it was “down” to 55 degrees. It still felt warm to us.
In any case, thinking about the all-day drive down and the all-day drive back up, I have been reminded of the fact that I don’t like to be IN BETWEEN. As much as I might enjoy “journeys”, if I have a goal or a place to be I want to be there. If I have a vacation that begins on, say, Monday – then I would like to be there on Monday – without taking any IN BETWEEN TIME to travel. I’m reminded of that flaw of mine, especially when standing (for more than a few minutes) in a TSA line at the airport, or driving, or waiting…etc.
IN BETWEEN is not my favorite place to be.
When I received the call to come work in Indiana, some 29 years ago, there was that period – sometimes known as “lame duck” – when I was still at my Seattle church AND I knew when my last day there and my first day in my Indiana church would be. I didn’t enjoy that IN BETWEEN time either. I’m a fast page turner, and I don’t like being IN BETWEEN times.
How about winter…talk about IN BETWEEN. I’m ready for SPRING and I don’t want to be IN BETWEEN waiting for it to happen.
On the other hand…
John Lennon’s great quote, “LIFE is what happens to you while you are busy making other plans.” hints at the importance of IN BETWEEN time. On a tombstone, it’s not the dates but the “dash” that carries all of life.
When preparing to drive down to Florida (for the first time) I was actually unprepared for how relaxing it actually would be.
First, I prepared myself, mentally. I told myself (almost as a mantra) I would be sitting if a very comfortable chair, sipping coffee, nibbling on snacks, watching the wonderful world go by, and listening to my favorite music…along with the voice from my phone-connected-to-my-car, the woman I call, “Google Girl”, who tells me how far and when to turn.
Second, I kept the goal in mind, but in shorter steps: a couple hours at a time, rather than looking at the WHOLE trip.
Third, I relaxed. I knew that if I needed to stop, even overnight, I could…though I didn’t want to. As I said before: I’d like to just get there.
Fourth, I realized that my piddly little trip isn’t the center of the universe, I can just be a “leaf on the wind” for this one…and see what happens.
That is a big lesson for me: No matter how important I believe my life and agenda to be, it isn’t the KINGDOM agenda, it is just one line of one instrument, in the entire symphony of the KINGDOM song.
This Sunday’s lesson contains a story about Jesus, an agenda, and what happened when His “agenda” was interrupted, when quite suddenly His “journey” became a miracle.
2023 is a big birthday year for me – and it is probably time I should realize that IN BETWEEN is what life is all about, so that I can relax, and enjoy the trip.