Martyschmidt’s Weblog

A Joyful Journey

That Place Between February 26, 2009

Filed under: Leadership — martyschmidt @ 6:17 pm

There is currently an advertisement for some insurance agency about being in that place between … and … with a person saying “I’m there.”

For me I’m in the place between an end of a busy stretch in ministry and not quite to a new reality on the home front with baby number 3.

This place in between. The transition of not quite new but no longer old is a troublesome spot. I’ve been here plenty of times. It happened when I was engaged. No longer dating and wondering but not yet married. It happened when I was student teaching but not going to be a teacher while at the same time working in youth ministry but not quite full time. It happened when it was decided that I would be the lead pastor to go plant a church but still operated as the youth pastor.

This place in between is a very hard place to live in. You are still responsible for things in the old but you know that it is coming to an end and it is hard to put any effort into anything that won’t be lasting. You also don’t have full permission to live in the new. It isn’t here yet. You may know it is coming but that reality hasn’t set in.

I think there can be tremendous freedom in That Place Between that we often miss though. There is permission to walk away from some of the old responsibilities. That doesn’t mean we get careless but rather it shows good stewardship by choosing to leave the old paradigm in a good position. You may have to train someone new. You may have to clean out files. It also may mean you need to leave some things undone so as to leave the clue that that too will have to be picked up in your absence.

You also are free to dream about the new. To envision something that isn’t happening yet is a wonderful thing. More time to plan allows you more time to plan well. Sometimes it takes certain situations to teach us patience. Patience is a character builder.

What are your thoughts about that place between.


2 Responses to “That Place Between”

  1. Darin Says:

    This makes me think about the Bridge diagram and Jesus filling in the place between us and God.

    It also makes me think about the ongoing conversions that Andrew has been talking about.

    I think we are often in the place between and that calls for a greater trust in God.

  2. Abby Says:

    I find that I am constantly beating myself against that rock. So often, it seems that my life is caught in transition. The waiting. The in-between. The now and the not yet. I hate it.

    But the older I get, the more I am able to recognize that the reason so much of life seems to be lived in those in-between places is because ALL of life is lived in the in-between. The circumstances I find myself in now are just a picture of what’s been going on–on a much larger scale–for all of history. We’re all waiting. We’re all in-between. Even when life feels settled and secure, we’re in the not yet.

    I used to truly struggle with all of this because I didn’t get it. I thought that if I had a big, excting, adventurous life that I would stop feeling that tension. So, I moved to Japan. But it only got worse. I was so . . . disappointed. But when I learned that that feeling didn’t come from my circumstances but from somewhere much deeper, well, I was able to relax a little. To enjoy it for what it is. To learn the necessary lessons and to find God in the moments of waiting.

    So, whenever I feel that tension, I try to remind myself that I long for more because I was made for more. I long to be in a different place because I was made for a different place. I long something bigger and more beautiful and more fulfilling because I was made for something bigger and more beautiful and more fulfilling. And that one day, I’m going to get there.

    There’s an old song by Carolyn Arends that I love. It’s called “Reaching” and the chorus goes like this:

    “We are reaching for the future,
    We are reaching for the past,
    And no matter what we have we reach for more.
    We are desperate to discover
    What is just beyond our grasp . . .
    Maybe that’s what Heaven is for.”

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