Paul Tournier in his book ‘A Place for You’, describes the experience of what it is to live in between— between time we leave home and arrive at our destination; between the time we leave adolescents and arrive at adulthood; between the time we leave doubt and arrive at faith.
In between is a marvellous, wonderful, scary, messy, adventurous, growing place to be. All that we are, all that we become, all that we truly fear, and all that truly energises and enlightens us is to be found in that precarious yet inevitable between space.
The precarious between
It is precarious because, for all of its wonder it also has a feel of no-mans-land to it. Being between means we are never completely lifted from where we are leaving, nor truly planted in where we intend arriving.
It is a confusing place for nothing is fully and completely accomplished nor finished in the space, but exists in a state of flux, in progress.
Consequently we are locked into a place of waiting where we exist with only partial sight. Waiting for hopes to be realised, dreams to be fulfilled, plans to be completed, intentions to be fully embraced and life to reach its glorious and wonderful climax.
Yet in that wonderful place of between we are becoming someone else hour by hour, minute by minute. All our experiences, our successes and struggles, our joyous highs and disabling lows never leave us where they find us; neither do they ever stay the same when travelling through us or causing us to travel through them.
God and our between space
The beauty of grace is that God ultimately orchestrates our between times. He orders everything to move and flow under his grace to the extent that what may seem harmful, can become decidedly helpful, and what may seem helpful and positive can also become disruptive and distracting.
In this shaping work neither God nor grace can be hurried or cajoled. They move at a predetermined pace, often a pace suitable and consistent with our character, personality, and capacity for growth.
In this sense between is to be celebrated and embraced. For however light or dark it may get, it is never random or abandoned to the faceless and anonymous forces of fate.
All things, largely those things that exist and breathe in the between spaces, are working according to a divine blueprint. They are producing for us what Paul referred to as an exceeding and eternal weight in glory (2 Cor.4:17).
Far more is at stake,
far greater is being built,
far deeper is being established,
as we walk between.
May today be a day when God gives you the unique ability to look beyond the ordinary and every day of your routines and your habits. To see further than your daily duties, responsibilities and commitments, to see the rich tapestry of significance and meaning that lies hidden in all of those relatively mundane and somewhat ordinary elements of life.