Betwixt and Between

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I am living in strange times at the moment

I have this sort of feeling that I am neither here nor there

Let me explain.

After 14 years of living beside the seaside in Sunny Clacton on Sea, I am about to move. It’s a big thing. I will leave my job, my home, my familiar surroundings and set off for pastures new.

At first, I thought my feelings were being caused by the scale of the task I was facing.  I am only just begun to appreciate how much junk I have accumulated over the years.   Perhaps I am a bit of a hoarder.  I have a wonderful collection of things that “will come in handy one day” and they ended up in the loft for safekeeping. 

Amongst the junk I also discovered a collection of unused stuff.  I am told, we cannot possibly get rid of because, “Great-Aunt Mable gave us that as a wedding present and it would really upset her if she knew.” The fact that she died over thirty years ago, doesn’t come into it.

As I thought about it, I realised that the sorting part is not really at the root of my feelings.  After all, it really did need doing and every so often, we all need a good clear out!

Nor is my problem the thought of moving to a new place with all of the inherent disruption of locating furniture, choosing curtains and carpets.

No, the real root cause of my problem is, I feel as though I am between one place and another and don’t quite belong in either.  I am betwixt and between and I don’t like this “nearly, but not quite.”

The other day, I was mulling over a few things in my mind (I know I should have been packing but, why do today what can be put off until tomorrow?)  I began to think about what the Bible has to say about betwixt and between.

I began to think about the story, in Luke’s Gospel, of Mary and Joseph leaving the boy Jesus in the Temple.  They head home in the belief he was with the other parent.  As that story draws to a close, we hear nothing more about Jesus until he is an adult.  From childhood to adulthood in one easy move!  Silence until, Jesus emerges to begin his ministry. 

What happened through the, approximate, 18 years?  What was Jesus doing between childhood and adulthood?

I also read the promise of the prophet Isaiah when he says;

Those who wait upon the Lord….

Any period of waiting can be unsettling.

Uncomfortable. 

Hard.

I decided to shelve my thinking and start to un-shelve my books.  After all, they would not pack themselves would they?

I do love my books.  I have come to regard many of them as old friends.  My wife frequently asks “do you really need it?” I always respond in the affirmative because, I simply cannot bear to part with them. 

I started to lift my commentaries off the shelf and into a box. These gems, collected over so many years, are used so often that the pages are now dog eared and falling out but I cannot bear to rid myself of them.  A chunk from commentary on Isaiah detached itself and fell to the floor.  I bent down and collected the errant pages, and began to read;

Those who wait upon the Lord…

The Hebrew word “qavah” meaning “eagerly expected” “longed for” “hopefully wait.”

This got me thinking.  Rather than the frustration of being “betwixt and between,” I need to change my thinking.  This is a time of eager expectation for what is to come.

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