In the in-between time


Love Him in the morning when you see the sun a-rising

Love Him in the evening ‘cause He took you through the day

And in the in-between time when you feel the pressure coming

Remember that He loves you and He promises to stay

from the “All Day Song” by John Fischer

My brilliant wife pointed out to me yesterday that Johnny’s Cafe was a place for the in-between times. We’re not talking about time of day here, since many days begin with breakfast at Johnny’s. (Last Friday, for instance, I began our four-day Labor Day holiday very early at my own Johnny’s, which is actually RJ’s Cafe, did a little writing, and got home in time to start Marti’s morning with her.) But I’m thinking about the in-between of where we are in life.

Chances are, you wouldn’t begin a relationship or a marriage at Johnny’s Cafe, although, I have to admit I did, and I’ve never lived it down. Escaping our wedding reception with hardly anything to eat, and our honeymoon hotel a little over an hour away, I had the brilliant idea of stopping at Denny’s on the way. With my brand new wife in her going away dress and me in my casual suit, Denny’s just didn’t fill the bill for our first romantic dinner as Mr. and Mrs. Fischer. Marti was aghast, but a good sport, too, and went along with it, but knowing her as I do now, I can see how lame that idea was. See what I mean? Johnny’s is not the place to begin … or end.  Johnny’s Cafe is where we continue. We’re always continuing at Johnny’s and we’ll be back soon.

Johnny’s is ordinary … day-to-day. It’s where we need to put the most attention. Beginnings and endings and special events have a way of carrying their own day, but the everyday — any day — is where real faith gets tested.

I’ve spent most of my life on and off stage. Clearly, walking by faith is much harder to do off than on. When you’re in a demanding situation where your strengths, gifts and talents are being called upon, you hardly have a choice but to trust God. But in the in-between time, it’s easy to put your spiritual considerations on autopilot and coast. Of course there is no such thing as coasting spiritually, but we act like there is. Even over this four day weekend when we were taking time off from work and resting, it took a reliance on the Spirit to overcome selfishness and carry out my responsibilities as a husband and father, and I can’t say that I was very conscious of doing that. Just because I’m on a vacation doesn’t mean my spiritual life is on vacation, too.

In the in-between time is when we need it the most. Be alert today. Be conscious of what the Holy Spirt wants of you today. There is no down time for the Spirit. No coasting. Like Oswald Chambers says in the title of his famous devotional book: My Utmost for His Highest. There’s no in-between time for that. That’s for all the time.

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4 Responses to In the in-between time

  1. One of God’s greatest gifts to humankind is time, but it is not unlimited.
    No matter who we are, there are still only 24 hours in a day, 365 days a year, and an average life span that is all too short.
    Too often, we go through life in a “slumber,” not really governing what we do or thinking about why we do it. All too often, we go through our daily routines like zombies, devoid of meaning and purpose.
    We let precious moments slip by and fail to notice the beauty around us.
    Some people get to the end of their lives and realize that they slept their way through it all; others never awake from their dream-state and believe that they will live forever.

    This is what the psalmist was thinking about when he wrote: “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). Only when we wake up to the reality that every day – every moment, every “in-between time” – has an end and so does every life, can we really live in the truest sense of the word.
    Only then will we use our time for what matters most.
    No longer will we procrastinate, hitting the proverbial “snooze button.”

    Excerpted from Holy Land moments Daily Devotionals: ‘God’s Wake-Up Call”

  2. Sandie says:

    I have found myself always seeming to be looking forward – to the detriment of NOW. “As soon as I heal from my surgery'” has been my latest. I have been putting off losing weight, getting a new Shepherd pup, riding my bicycle (so I can lose weight), to name just a few.
    I am always in danger of not seeing the beauty of where I am now and those that share it with me…always in danger of not ‘redeeming the time.’ Always in danger of being ungrateful and just spinning my wheels…waiting for that tomorrow that never seems to get here…and it never will, unless I make good use of the time I inhabit now.
    These thoughts have weighed on my mind a lot lately – because of the surgeries and the physical limitations they imposed – and the realization that I am not 20, 30, 40, 50, or even 60 anymore. I always knew I was never going to live forever…now I KNOW it. Thank God for His Spirit and His patience; thank Him for stopping me and reminding me to take notice of NOW…because it will never be NOW again.
    I watched John McCain’s funeral and was touched and humbled by the assembly that came together to honor him. After listening to all the speakers, it was evident to me, that Senator McCain was a man of honor, that he tried to find the good in people and situations, that he didn’t believe in personal attacks, that he tried to find common ground with his adversaries. He was respected because he gave respect. His passing has left a big hole in the lives he touched – because he tried to make those lives better.
    I don’t move on the world stage as John McCain did, but I move on the stage God has provided and trusted and blessed me with. My hope and prayer is that I leave the places I’ve passed through (and will pass through) better for me having been there…including the place I am now.

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