(March 21, 2015) This is an Ode to living in “the Middle.” You know the place. The “Middle” can be a time of extreme frustration.
Our young people understand what it’s like to live in “the Middle.” In their minds they are somewhere well past being children, and yet not old enough to be considered adults, and certainly not old enough to have their opinions trusted by adults as being valid. Adults, too, understand “the Middle.” We get to be somewhere north of 40, and suddenly we discover what it’s like to be living in “the Middle.” It’s the point on our path when all the things we were so sure of when we were 20 turn out not to be so sure after all. Career paths, relationships, what’s important in life. Everything that was so clear – like what is right or wrong, how much we care about our appearance, and how much brighter we are than our parents were, what is “permanent” in life – all of that suddenly turns out to be not so true.
This IS a week of living in “the Middle.” It’s not yet Easter, yet we are a long way from Ash Wednesday. There are no palms to wave as yet, and it’s too cold to count as Spring even though the calendar says it’s so. Right now it’s just another week. A week “in the Middle.”
But the thing is, it is OUR WEEK in the middle. Let’s own it. So I propose that we all ponder what it is that we know now, at this point in our lives, that we didn’t know when we started the journey. I sat down and gave some thought to what truths are evident to me that have found me along the way:
If I knew then what I know now, I would have listened a lot more than I’ve talked.
I would have grabbed every moment with my now-departed parents, instead of being so eager to be out the door to prove I was an adult.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken all the opportunities for a vacation that came my way, rather than put it off to do more work.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have taken that lunch hour and walked around the block, instead of missing all the opportunities to see beauty, whether it was on the sidewalk or in the faces of people I didn’t have the chance to meet.
If I knew then what I know now, I would have held hands more, hugged more, said ‘thank you’ more, rather than fret about what other people think.
If I knew then what I know now, I wouldn’t have worried as much and prayed more, because I would know that God listens and holds me close.
The good thing, of course, is that THIS JUST THE MIDDLE. While no one knows the span of their years, we still have time – still have the chance to put to good use the wisdom we’ve accumulated along the way. As we turn the corner and head toward the Alleluias of Easter, may you take time to ponder what you now know to be important, and apply it every day. -- Pastor Pat Kriss