Today is the day you have waited for. Dressed in a long white dress, you walk down the red-carpeted aisle beautifully adorned by yellow tulips and pink peonies. The eyes of well-wishers are all on you, some teary-eyed, some drawn to wishful thinking.
On your right arm, you’re clinging by the arm of your aged father who walks you through the longest aisle in his life. You want to freeze this moment in time. As you look ahead, two eyes gazing at you captured your attention.
Those are the two eyes that you would luckily be waking up into every morning from this day forward.
You are gazing through the eyes of love. You are now face-to-face with the man that God kept for you.
I am here today, in the afternoon of November 16,2016, poring over a piece of paper, imagining things. I have such a beautiful picture of the future in my mind that I get to daydream about it sometimes. I do not know yet the details; my story is still an ongoing piece being written by God.
But what binds the difference between then and now?
I’d like to call it the “time in between.”
Time in between is the period of time that lapses between a point in the past or present and the anticipated moment in the future. If I will draw a line to represent my life now to the day I always daydreamed, the two points at the end seem to be long and far apart.
I used to think that this time in between is only a pause when I am dreaming. But what do you call a pause when it extends over a long period of time? Usually, this extended pause just runs towards an indefinite and unknown period towards tomorrow.
If it will be superimposed on reality, this time in between is actually an interlude.
The time in between is a preparation.
The time in between the middle of two things sets everything.
Let me put it in context of many things in life. Since life is dynamic, change is to be expected and anticipated. If we will take time to observe life, it is always composed of many Point A’s and Point B’s.
Point A: A farmer plants a seed.
Point B: Weeks passed, a seedling grows its first leaf.
Point A: The seedling grew its first bud.
Point B: The bud blooms into a beautiful rose.
Point A: The caterpillar wraps itself in a cocoon.
Point B: The cocoon breaks and a fragile yet beautiful butterfly flys out onto the world.
Point A: The last leaf falls from a tree one autumn day.
Point B: The first fresh leaves shoot up the dead tree one spring day.
Point A: A mother learns of her stage 4 stomach cancer.
Point B: She finishes her battle against cancer and bids goodbye to her family.
Point A: A father sees the springing womanly beauty of his daughter with her first boyfriend.
Point B: The father gives away his precious daughter to her groom waiting at the foot of the altar.
See, if we will go on and on, the list will never end. I believe you might be able to add to this (you can comment them below). But my goal in writing this is not to glory on the significance of our Point A’s and Point B’s. Because given that these two points in time are important and sets a milestone and memory for us, I want to put color to the space in between, the time in between, which is often overlooked by our anticipation of Point B.
I love this very profound verse in the Bible found in Ecclesiastes 3 and it is the basis of my belief in the so-called time in between.
There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven:
A time to give birth and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to uproot what is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh.
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to throw stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to shun embracing.
A time to search and a time to give up as lost.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
A time to tear apart and a time to sew together.
A time to be silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Even the writer of Ecclesiastes recognized the many significant points in a life of humanity. But, as the cliché saying goes, you will realize the importance of an event by the many small details that led to its eventual happening.
Knowing this concept, I have set to live my life and desire for the Point B’s God has placed in my heart long before in light of time in between (Psalm 37:4). See, a seed won’t grow into a vibrant seedling without the “events” in between. A bud won’t bloom into a beautiful rose without the “processes” in between. Just like our lives!
Strangers won’t turn into the best of friends without the time spent and activities shared in between.
The man pursuing a girl won’t turn out to be her husband now without the effort given and intentional love poured in between.
So how should we spend this time in between? No matter what your Point B’s are, this season of waiting is very significant. Here are my practical ideas on how to spend this time in between fruitfully:
- Do not be passive. Yes, waiting in the dark does not mean that we won’t be doing anything until the day that Point B arrived. I believe that one reason that most of our Point B’s hasn’t arrived yet because we are not even ready. So do not be passive. Cultivate your time wisely during the time in between.
- Pursue activities that will lead you closer to Point B. Likewhat I said in #1, cultivating your time wisely means pursuing activities that will bring you one step closer to your dreams. If you wanted to graduate, pursue studying above all other activities. If you wanted to become a good family man, start by becoming a good son/daughter at home now. Time in between is a preparation.
- Decide to walk closer to Point B, no matter how long it may take. There are no shortcuts to your dreams. And along the road you will take in between your desire and dreams, you will surely meet highways of disappointments and avenues of frustrations. You will likely give up. But if you decide now to walk and continue, you will have no other destination but to arrive at Point B.
God, in His goodness, has made all things beautiful in His time (Ecclesiastes 3:11). We are such limited creatures. We can only see our life in the context of the here and now. But we can dream! And that is the mystery of God’s work in us. He has set eternity in our hearts. That’s why we must desire for good and perfect things. We can only trust God in the work He makes from beginning to end, from Point A to Point B. And we must remain faithful in the time in between.