Summary: This sermon is about our need to live our lives in the in-between. It looks at what we need to be careful of, what living in the in-between does, and what we need to do.
Living in the In-Between
Living our lives as a Christian goes something like this. God gives us a vision, plan, purpose and calling for our lives, but He doesn’t give us all the details at the same time. These we receive along the way as we look to Him.
And I think God planned it this way because He knows how we hate to call home, that is, we really don’t like to pray. But as any parent God wants to talk with us, and so He withholds the details and gives them along the way in this journey of faith we’ve been called upon.
But I think there’s more. Far too often, more often that we’d like to admit, we miss out on what life has to offer because we mistakenly believe that life happens when reach our goals and fulfill our purpose in life. But what we fail to understand is that life is what happens in-between now and then.
This is why so many find themselves empty and disillusioned when they reach their goal, and that’s because they’ve missed the whole point as to why God gave that goal or purpose in the first place, and that is so we could experience the life that God has in store for us.
This is what I’d like to talk about today, and that is the life we miss in the in-between. What we miss is that God’s purpose is not always the same as our goals, in fact, God’s purpose is found along the way. And so if we miss this, we might just miss out on all that God has in store. We miss out on the abundant life that Jesus tells us is ours as one of His followers.
And our value system is all messed up. It’s where we’re at our jobs and other events more than we are with our children, grandchildren, and those special people God has put in our lives.
We mistakenly think that once we get established and settled then we’ll have the time, but in truth, by that time our kids have moved out of the house and have families of their own, and have little if any time for us.
Back in mid 70’s Harry Chapin wrote and sang a song that had become the rallying cry for this very thing. It is called, “Cat’s In The Cradle.” I’d like to look at the first and last verses of the song and I think you’ll be able to see what I am talking about.
• My child arrived just the other day – He came to the world in the usual way – But there were planes to catch and bills to pay – He learned to walk while I was away – And he was talkin' 'fore I knew it, and as he grew - He'd say "I'm gonna be like you dad - You know I'm gonna be like you"
• I've long since retired, my son's moved away – I called him up just the other day – I said, "I'd like to see you if you don't mind" – He said, "I'd love to, Dad, if I can find the time – You see my new job's a hassle and kids have the flu – But it's sure nice talking to you, Dad – It's been sure nice talking to you"
• And as I hung up the phone it occurred to me – He'd grown up just like me – My boy was just like me
Recently I got a text from one of my sons, by the way, I don’t call them sons or daughters in law, they become part of the family and therefore are also my sons and daughters. Well in this text he said that he remembered how everyone was kind of on me because I was always carrying Ilona, our oldest granddaughter, at the San Diego Zoo, which is what she wanted. It was those arms held out signs that say, “Pick me up.”
And he remembered that I had said that I will hold my grandchildren every chance I get, because there will come a time when they won’t want to be held. He is now holding his children as much as he can.
In a world where work seems to be the end all of our existence, we’ve learned to become real efficient, the problem is that we haven’t become all that effective. What’s the difference? Being efficient is all about doing things right, where being effective is all about doing right things. And the difference is found in that while we can do things right, are they the right things to be doing?
As a society we’ve become extremely efficient. We have smart phones and smart watches that can not only connect us to one another, but also to the Internet where we can get see the latest happenings around the world. We also have smaller and smaller laptop computers and tablets that let us take our computers everywhere we go, and with Wi-Fi we can get connected almost anywhere.