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.