Since I was little I have identified with many of the traits of being born in late June and that astronomical sign Cancer (don’t judge). I’m not saying I spend a lot of time understanding all the aspects of what this means, but I know that I am very connected to water (Cancer is a water sign) and led by emotions (though I have trained myself not to be as driven by emotions as I was as a teenager). Something I learned about Cancers only a couple of weeks ago is that we tend to want…need order. I used to talk about this in terms of nesting, needing my “house” in order. Please don’t confuse this for me being a neat freak. Anyone who knows me knows this is not the case. What it does mean is that unfinished business, makes me want to scream.
Now here is the problem with that…I learned a long time ago that most of our lives are not lived in the pit of despair (nod to Princess Bride), nor are they lived on the mountain top (nod to Loch Levin and the Smokies/Rocky Top). Most of our lives are lived in-between. Which means most of our lives are not about order, they are about the chaos, the wilderness, the everyday, boring drama that is creation and creating still.
I remember most of my tween years (we didn’t call it that then) and all through high school, I was not the average size most clothing makers made clothes for…I was in-between. Too big for the size I wanted to fit into, too small for the next size up. It made me long for something, anything to be just right. And when I would be just right, it would last for about a minute before I was in-between again.
It’s funny how being in-between will put pressure on someone to hurry their growing (as if we could really control that). Children want to be grown ups so badly until they are. Churches will jump on any bandwagon that promises a magic fix to their problem if they don’t have to work for it, or pay for it, or change for it. The in-between is the hardest part of the journey, and the thing is…the in-between is the journey.
How easily we would give up the journey for the destination. Is that about rest? Is it about discernment? No, usually, it’s about fear. It’s about fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of doing it wrong, fear of looking silly, fear of not fitting in, fear of not becoming what we hope to become.
My daughter starts kindergarten this week. When it started to get real, I began to panic. I wasn’t ready. But I’ve been working on getting ready for about two weeks now. The older one is done with daycare and the younger one has started back. Now I just want to get started. Can we send her to kindergarten now? The anxiety of waiting is zapping my energy. And then I remember, I have two more mornings with her and her daddy while her brother is at daycare. Precious moments that we haven’t had with her for so long. And like a lot of other parents, I have wasted a few minutes wishing those moments away.
The church where I server as minister has presented a Vision Statement after a year plus of work, we have finally presented a statement we have discerned to be from God, the defines God’s vision for our future. And after the first Sunday of presenting the statement, the one question our Vision Team heard over and over again was, ‘great, what’s next?’ ‘Can we start on the next steps yet?’ I am thrilled for the enthusiasm, and I understand the desire to begin the work toward a plan for ministry and the action of that work toward goals; but we are still on the journey, and we will still be on the journey. We are in-between. I wonder if we can find a way to cherish these moments of letting the Vision Statement sink into our being. I wonder if we will take the time to welcome the word God has spoken to us before shoving it out of the way for what is next.
I wonder if you have noticed the sacredness of the in-between. Have you taken the time to see God’s creation, creating still in you while you are in-between sizes, while you are in-between here and what’s next? Have you thanked God for continuing a good work in you today?
Consider it temple time, where you are honoring the temple God creates in you.