Somewhere In Between
In between: neither at the beginning nor at the end. I am somewhere, where exactly I am not entirely sure. I completed my latest season of ministry: 7 years here in London, serving wonderful people whom I love dearly. I am preparing to move on to the next ministry in Sevenoaks, Kent. I am confident we will serve other wonderful people there. But I am not there yet. I am somewhere in between.
There is a constellation of emotions. There are a myriad of thoughts. I am grateful: supremely to the Lord God for so many mercies and evidences of his extraordinary kindnesses. I am thrilled: in these years I witnessed gospel grace in many people’s lives. I am humbled: in my marriage, in my parenting, in my work, and in my private world. I am confused: about a few of the events, relationships, and work that right now don’t have the desired feel. I am hopeful: for the people I know, for what this next season will bring, and for what I cannot see and discern.
This feeling of being somewhere in between is intensified as I say goodbye to people and communicate with other people whom I will meet very shortly. I am ending some practical things. I am initiating some practical things elsewhere. But things are different. There are various ‘last times’. Places even look different somehow. There is termination. There is also anticipation.
I wonder if this in between thing is what trapeze artists experience. For that brief moment when they let go of one trapeze and reach out for the other trapeze swing it looks to us that for a moment nothing is happening. But lots of happenings are occurring. There is movement. There is momentum. There is the rush of air.
This makes me pause, then, for a moment, and realise that being in between is OK. There is movement. There is momentum. The really great thing is that the cause, the author, of the in between time is the same God who was faithfully working in our lives these past 7 years. He is the cause, the author, of the life we will soon live in Sevenoaks. In fact, for Him, there is no in between time. There is no sense of pause, uncertainty, of indrawn breath.
Perhaps, what I should try to do is to avoid rushing through the in between time. Maybe the in between is an opportunity to realise some important things. I am not meant to speed through my life from one thing to the next. I am intended to appreciate the here and now and not live either in nostalgia or future planning. I am not the Captain of my life. I live a dependent life. Possibly, one gift of the in between time is the gift of seeing what was in such a way as to provide a good line of sight for the future.
I read this poem by the English poet, George Herbert. I am going to use it for this ‘in between’ time.
My words and thoughts do both express this notion, That Life hath with the sun a double notion. The first Is straight, and our diurnal friend, The other Hid and doth obliquely bend. One life is wrapped In flesh, and tends to earth: The other winds towards Him, whose happy birth Taught me to live here so, That still one eye Should aim and shoot at that which Is on high: Quitting with daily labour all My pleasure, To gain at harvest an eternal Treasure.