We are always in the process of becoming. At least I am speaking of myself. It sometimes occurs to me that other people may be quite content being who they are and are satisfied with what they do. Everyday, like the buttons on a VCR player (remember those?), life is lived on basically four functions: Play, Pause, Stop, Rewind. Sometimes I wish I could be that way.
“You are very complex,” my bride reminds me, usually with a sigh. Being the Optimist, I belive there must be a compliment in there somewhere. Don’t get me wrong, I am not unhappy with who I am. I love my life. I just want more.
Growing up in northern Ohio, it is a common occurence in early autumn to see the sky filled with Canadian Geese flying in perfect V-shaped formation, like attacking fighter jets, honking merrily as they migrate south. A lot of birds migrate from Ohio. Some follow landmarks learned from watching the old birds before them. Other types of birds use a “compass”– the Earth’s magnetic field, stellar constellations, and the sun, which I find to be very cool indeed.
The easy answer on WHY they fly south, is because they know there is a South they need to get to. Some internal mechanism placed within their DNA alerts them- It is about to get freakin’ cold around here, and if you wanna eat, you better get going to another place. This ,of course ,was built inside them by the Creator who planned all of creation with such precision, baffling the intellect of well, really smart people.
An internal mechanism or compass is inside all of us, I believe. Not one to “fly south”- although that happens to a lot of Ohioians in winter- but to continue a process of change and development. To unfold. Sort of like a flower that leans into the heat and light of the Sun. Or perhaps more accurate, a metamorphosis, like a wormy caterpillar turning into a beautiful Monarch butterfly once released from its chrysalis. For several years I felt this internal mechanism alerting me that change was coming.
I am now in the place Somewhere in Between where I have been, and where I am going. Like a trapese artist released from the sure hold on one swing, twirling in a disoriented manner through thin air as he hopes to have a safe landing on the next swing. It’s in the In-between place that you let everything go. And it is certainly disorienting. But in the In-between, you are committed to the journey. Imagine a guy on the trapese who refused to let go of his grip on the familiar. He swings free for awhile, then just hangs like a wet shirt held to a rope with clothes pins. My Dad’s favorite saying to me after,”What were you thinking?” was, “Hang in there!“. Well, I was tired of hanging in there, so I let go. And now I am Somewhere in Between.
So what am I after? What do I pursue in this place of The Journey? Where do I go from here? There is something I am discovering about the In-between place: You must release all your options and forget about Outcomes. You must relinquish control of the life you planned to discover the life you were meant to have. Trust. Trust your instincts. Trust your Creator. Trust the Process you are in. Trust the people who are entering your life in this season. Refuse to allow self preservation to rule your choices. Swing free through the air!
So if I could put into words this longing in my heart, I would say the first thing I desire is Intimacy. A deep intimacy with a wild God and with others. It is easy to build internal structures to monitor the flow of “safe and unsafe” people in and out of your life. Without realizing it, those structures become walls restricting the freedom of your own spirit. I am wanting to become a person who is full of Love and has an overflowing capacity to love. I am sure of it, I believe.
I have discovered that Loving God means loving others more; which means giving more of myself away; which means discovering how selfish I really am. I am uncomfortable with that. But there is a South to fly to.
Second, I know there is a Significant Mission to accomplish with my remaining years. This is more than a job: it’s an overflow of Who you I am Becoming and the message being written along the way. I am refusing the attempt to discover, “What Color is your Parachute” in this season. My desire is to discover my Creator’s Eternal Purpose for me and leave a legacy, if that is possible. Like one pebble tossed into the calm waters of a pond, I want to make a small splash into time and create many subsequent ripples.
Finally, I just want to enjoy this Life Journey. There is deep joy in being content with your lot in life based on the deeper reality of God’s love expressed through Jesus Christ. We collect a lot of emotional baggage over the years that we were never meant to carry. There is a simple joy found in the discovery that we are not responsible for other people’s happiness. Each person is reponsible to go on that journey for themselves.
There is a lot of beauty to enjoy. If our eyes are only on ourselves and our shortcomings, we cannot absorb into our soul all that there is to discover. I want to share that beauty through the lens of my camera, my words and my very life when possible.
Somewhere in Between, although disorienting, is still a place. So as painful, difficult, exhilarating and wonderful as it is, I want to journey through this season fully awake. And although I feel like that guy on the trapeze spinning through the air,(not really because I am uncomfortable with heights), I believe there is something on the other side waiting for me when I reach.