I preached my final sermon in Katy on April 3. It was a wonderful day, though it was filled with every emotion. We celebrated the Lord’s Supper together and there were tears as we said our ‘farewells.’ In a United Methodist connection…it is rarely ‘good-bye’ though we know that things change the day an appointment and move happens. So I’ve been in a place “in between.” The idea was to have some vacation time, something I rarely took all of while doing youth ministry. I needed to create some space between one place and the other. And of course the plan was to get things packed and ready for the movers and have several days of quiet contemplation and planning for the shift to a new perspective of ministry.
The packing has been an on-going process since the beginning…first my office, then the utility/craft room, dining room, living room, kitchen (mostly finished). And today, one week from when the movers show up, I still have the rest of the house to do. The “in between” is an uncomfortable place to live in. My friend Joseph wrote about his experience of the “in between” a few weeks ago. There is grieving for the place you are leaving behind…from the familiarity of the place and the people, of the work and the rhythm of the days. And though I have discovered that churches are all different and unique, they have things in common. So there is anticipation and excitement as the days of “in between” shrink. But in my case, it’s a little different than most moves. Mine is happening during one of the holiest of seasons in the Christian year. My husband and I have worshiped in a different church each Sunday…and now I have the opportunity to choose different places for Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter. It is strange to be a different kind of participant. For years, long before a call to ordained ministry, I was a worship leader…first in the choir, singing all three services, then even at the sunrise service as I directed the youth choir, and lastly as a liturgist. So I think this will be the first Easter in over 20 years that I will be with the crowds.
There is potential in the discomfort of the “in between.” I’ve discovered that as long as I live each day on it’s own…without looking too far ahead or too far back…I can be perfectly content to be right where I am. I can enjoy each day and every aspect of it. I think this is an important component of our Christian walk as well. We need to be conscious of this day…the day we’ve been gifted with. And we need to be on the look out for God’s activity around us. Because so often we get distracted by the “what ifs” of yesterday and the “what ifs” of tomorrow.
I am trying to build some Sabbath time into each of these days that I am “in between.” And in doing so, I am reminded that each of us need some “space” in our day. The cluttered lives we lead need some quiet, some expanse to think in, to reflect in, to dream in, and to imagine in. I am discovering this is so necessary for my spiritual well-being. How is your spiritual life? Or as John Wesley used to inquire, “How is it with your soul?”
So I guess that the “in between” is necessary…necessary to rejuvenate a weary soul.