The Time In Between

Leigh Lake Falls in the Cabinet Mountains of Montana

Leigh Lake Falls in the Cabinet Mountains of Montana

For no special reason, I was thinking last night about rest areas along I-80 in Iowa.  They’re usually in the middle of a cornfield, very hot and humid in the summer, and bitterly cold in the winter.

The Keyhole at Monument Rocks, Kansas

The Keyhole at Monument Rocks, Kansas

I was also thinking that rest areas in Iowa (and Nebraska and Kansas) weren’t my favorite places in the whole world.  It’s not because they’re any more boring than most rest areas along an interstate.  In fact, you often see bits and pieces of windmills on flatbeds at rest areas in the Midwest, and it’s fun to try and guess exactly which part or parts of the windmill you’re seeing.

Windmills in rural Wyoming

Windmills in rural Wyoming

What it came down to is that I’m not crazy about Midwestern rest areas because it signifies an “in between” place.  We’re no longer home, or in the excitement of leaving.  But we’re also not yet at our destination.  We’re hanging in space, somewhere in between, a little weary of the journey, trying not to lose sight of where we’re heading.  We’ll get to our destination and it will be great, but for now, we are feeling “in between”.

At

At “Carhenge”, Nebraska

There’s an old song (I like the ZiggyBeats version, but that’s hard to find these days) that says,

You were there when the Father said

“Let there be light!”

You obeyed when He whispered, “Son

You have to leave tonight

To spend nine months in a mother’s womb

Three days in a barrowed tomb”

 

But it’s the time in between

That brings me to my knees

Knowing You came for me

I’m amazed, so amazed

And I thank You for the time in between.*

Boardwalk in Corbett's Glen, New York

Boardwalk in Corbett’s Glen, New York

The “time in between” can be one of the biggest tests of our faith.  Will we keep going, or will we turn aside?  Will we keep believing, or will we let our circumstances dictate our level of faith?

Morning on the Lava Falls Route, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

Morning on the Lava Falls Route, Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona

A friend posted on Facebook something along the lines of, “The closer you get to the goal, the more choices you have – not so you can make the right or wrong choice, per se, but so that you can get a better grip about what you really want, on what the goal actually looks like.”  To which one of my group members responded, “The closer you get to the goal, the easier it is to give up because of all the pressure from the choices.”

Historic boat on the Erie Canal/Lock 33, New York

Historic boat on the Erie Canal/Lock 33, New York

The “time in between” is a time of waiting, a time of holding on, a time of being faithful to what God has said.  In the case of rest areas, getting back in the driver’s seat and continuing driving because I know that in another day or two we’ll be in the mountains or deserts or beautiful places I’ve only read about.

Hidden Lake from the Dragontail, Glacier National Park, Montana

Hidden Lake from the Dragontail, Glacier National Park, Montana

Or in the words of Isaiah, “Because the Lord God helps me, I have not been disgraced; therefore I have set my face like a stone, and I know I will not be put to shame.”

*Francesca Battistelli “Time In Between” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r6qRZSrNXmA