New American Standard Bible (NASB)
10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.
One of my favorite bloggers, Michael Nichols – who turns 40 today – Happy Birthday! (http://www.michaelnichols.org) – posted a blog this morning touting a new book by Jeff Goins (another blogger) called “The In-Between.”
In the video promo for Jeff’s book (the link to which Michael included in his blog) the narrator talks about how we’re missing all the in-between time we have. In-between time such as – waiting for the water to boil. Waiting for a bus or a train or a plane. Waiting for the cookies to bake. The light to change. The sun to rise. And the book seems to take the stance that we need to “embrace the wait” and seek out these little delays. And I agree. Sort of…
My take on the “in-between” is a bit different. I have almost no in-between. And I think that’s the situation for most Americans. We fill our lives with so much “stuff”, there is little to no in-between time for any thing or — any one. Especially God.
I know people who are “so busy” they wouldn’t have enough time to go to the hospital if they had a heart attack.
Busy, busy, busy. Don’t believe me? Just call a friend right now and invite them over for dinner or out to coffee. “Uh, let’s see. Sure I think I can have coffee with you any day during the 2nd week of August — 2014.” And on it goes until one day you hear, your friend moved, went to prison for tax evasion or passed away.
And it’s not just you and I who are so busy. We’ve passed the busy gene on to our kids. Soccer. Band. Baseball. Video Games. School. Piano lessons. Dance class. Summer Camp. Youth group.
All worthwhile endeavors – but we let our kids and therefore ourselves become so consumed by busyness that we frantically race from meaningless point A to meaningless point Z and then collapse into bed, only to rise again and begin again tomorrow.
True story… Several years ago I, along with a few thousand other guys, left our families behind to attend a 3 day mens conference. You know what the main topic was? How we’re neglecting our families and need to spend more time at home.
When I talk to family members and friends, I usually ask “How’re you doing?” The usual answer is – “I’m exhausted.” How can someone 16 or 35 years old be exhausted.
Hey, I’m staring down the barrel of 65. I have a”right” to be exhausted. But you newcomers. You “kids” (to me anyone under 35 is a kid.) have zero right to be exhausted. If you are – well – it’s your own fault.
Here’s a scenario of the average young couple in America.
They awake at 5am. Change the baby. Feed the baby. One watches the baby and slams down breakfast (coffee, 2 donuts and a 5 Hour Energy) while the other showers. Then they switch. Then it’s off to drop the baby at daycare. Followed by a race to work. The J.O.B.
At 5pm – they do everything they did earlier in the day – only backwards. By 8 or 9pm the baby is asleep for the night (they hope) and they literally collapse into bed.
Ask them “How’re they’re doing?” I dare ya…
Here’s another scenario. This time it’s the average older couple in America.
They too wake up at 5am. But have no idea why.
Because they’re “Empty Nesters” they get to have breakfast together. Breakfast for these folks consists of toast, coffee and a heaping bowl of prescription medications. One for the heart, one for the bladder, one for the – oh what was that other one for? Oh, now I remember. Memory.
At the end of the day, they too reverse the flow of activity. Dinner at 4pm. News at 6pm. Meds to help them sleep at 8:55 and lights out at 9:00pm. I forgot to mention the 3 naps they each took during their busy day. Ask them how they’re doing and they will also say. “We’re exhausted.”
Don’t worry you older folks. There’s a pill for that too.
So here’s the bottom line… Slow down dear friends. For what are we in such a hurry? Work? A root canal? Yard work? Driving the kids to “fill in the blank”? The Annual Checkers Tournament down at the Senior Center?
I promise you, if you don’t create more in-between, you’ll wake up like Mr. Nichols and go “Yikes! I’m 40!” Or 50, 60, 70, 90!
Cherish the in-between. It might be the only chance you have to be the real you for a few precious moments. Or is that what we’re all really afraid of???
(Charles Stanley has an excellent post on Beating Busyness. http://www.intouch.org/magazine/content?topic=beating_busyness#.Ufk3yha0Z8M)
Today’s Song “Do Everything” – Steven Curtis Chapman