Wednesday, April 23, 2014

the in between


People who know me in real life and see my Instagram feed often comment about how much I love coffee. It’s true, I really do. I think though that a lot of people think I constantly drink coffee, always with one cup in hand-like a chain smoker going from one drag to the next. In truth, I only have 2 cups a day. I do love coffee, and could drink it all day long. But I choose not too. However, I do make a choice to be intentional about my coffee. I don’t make a cup just because it’s there. I make a cup when I can take a moment to sit with it, either with a friend or over a good book. It’s a literal coffee break for me. For me, it’s about slowing down and taking a moment to pause and be refreshed when I can sit still with a steaming cup. 
I shared the other day about my need for slowing down. It goes without saying, for me slower is better. It’s a standpoint that doesn’t always receive much validation in today’s fast paced world. We thrive on multitasking, at least we think so, but we often get more than we bargained for in the process. That more is not necessarily a good thing.
Jeff Goins recently talked about the in-between, the places of waiting from getting from one thing to another. In a way, we’re all living in the in between. Whether it’s in between jobs or simply in between the school drop off and pick up, there is always an in between that finds us waiting. In fact, a lot of our lives are spent here in this in between.
Pursuing slow gives meaning to the in between. It’s why I like my coffee slow and deliberate. It makes me slow down, and that daily pause is more than a simple consumption of coffee. It becomes a ritual, sacred almost, where I intentionally slow myself. I rest in the process. From grinding the beans with a manual grinder, to waiting for the perfect temperature of the water, all of it.
“Our cultural impatience runs so rampant that we dress it up in terms like “productivity” and “efficiency.” But what’s really happening is we are conditioning ourselves to get what we want now, all the time. Such a mindset robs us of the lessons waiting can teach us, causing us to miss out on the slow but important stuff of life.”
The important stuff is almost always appreciated by taking it in slow. When I slow down to look my husband in the eye, and deliberately give him my attention I validate him and end up receiving that same validation back. When I’m okay waiting in the long line at Starbucks, I might be able to have a moment of connection with the person behind me. And who’s to say that those moments aren’t actually God ordained moments that he gives for us to share him with others? Could we be missing those because we aren’t okay accepting the slow way?
Accepting the slow, the waiting, and the in between allows me to focus on what’s in front of me. The sacred, holy, everyday life that unfolds around me is likely to be missed when I am distracted. We grow slowly, over time, and that takes a lot of waiting. Maybe God established things like that so that we could learn to see him in the small things just as much as in the big things. Maybe he wants us to see him even more in those small, waiting spaces?

1 comment:

  1. I'm majorly in the in-between in a larger sense in life right now, and also this week. My son has been home sick from school, tomorrow will be day 3, and as you know, all things cease to move forward. That gives me a bit of anxiety; today I felt unproductive and guilty about that. But tomorrow, I want to embrace the time with him. Be all there, as Jim Elliot said. Perhaps the in-between doesn't exist to God; all the moments are gifts. We are the ones who misuse them at times.

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