For as long as I can remember, I have felt like I was in “the middle”… no longer “here”, but not quite “there”; one hand in the past, one hand reaching to the future. Not sure where I was headed.. somewhere between where I started and where I’ll eventually end up… just… in the middle.
By definition, a “transition” is
the process or a period of changing from one state or condition to another.
Transitions are often great, but it is usually our perspective of the transition that gives way to fear, discouragement and disillusionment. This is understandable, but the challenge of a transition is understanding that the “middle” is necessary.
Transitions aren’t really known for making you look all that good. You don’t really fit where you used to be, but haven’t yet locked into where you’re headed, and that’s a tough spot to be in.
One of my favorite scriptures for the “middle” is Philippians 1:6…
There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears. (The Message)
When I think of “the middle” I envision a cocoon. That is the place where something emerges different than how it entered. You can’t look at a caterpillar in a cocoon state and see the transition happening inside, but it will be seen by all soon enough. Apart from what we already know about nature and biology, no one would look at a caterpillar and believe that it possessed everything it needed to become a butterfly. But keep your eye on the cocoon.
Somewhere between the cradle and the grave, whether it is personal, spiritual, financial, relational, emotional, geographical or professional, you are probably somewhere in the middle right now. Know that the middle is purposeful and has come to transition you, develop you and challenge you to become what’s next. You are not stuck. You are being groomed and grown, pruned and primed for what you have yet to become.
In my experience, I have found God more in “the middle” than at any destination point in my life. I believe He lives in the tension between… between here and there, between what we are and what we shall be, between what we see and what we don’t see.
Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. [2 Corinthians 4:16-18]
The great paradoxical challenge of the faith life is this: keep your eyes on what you can’t see.
Have you found yourself in “the middle?” How has your perspective of your transitions influenced what you focus on?