Word of the Week

Word of the Week: Middle

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Did a big life change recently happen to you and now you're on an unfamiliar path? Do you feel stuck in the in-between of a transition and you can't seem to get to the other side? To situations like these, enter today's word: middle.

Middle is a word that means: equally distant from the outer limits.

We can be in the middle of a degree program. Or the the middle of traffic. I have a good friend who's in the middle of divorce. And I've recently had birthdays that put me in mid-life.

And rarely do I hear these references as a good thing.

We're not where we once were and we're not where we want to be yet. We might pout when will the "in between" be over? It makes me think of that the song I've loved for a couple years sung by Avicii "Wake Me Up" that pleads to skip ahead from the middle of an unpleasant experience to the end.

But does "middle" have to be such a negative word?

Here's the thing: you can't get to the finish line till you've completed the middle work. You can't go around the middle. You can't go over the middle. You must go through it.

For as much as you want to go to the place where as Aviciil sings where you wake up "wiser and older" sometimes "the middle" is exactly where you need to be.

David Brooks in his book, The Second Mountain gives this advice about being in the middle: “Wait. See what it has to teach you. Understand that your suffering is a task that, if handled correctly, with the help of others, will lead to enlargement, not diminishment.”

And he's right, there's suffering that comes from not knowing how a project or decision or relationship or a phase of life will end up. But for something to be whole it must contain a middle, right? And isn't life about being made whole?

So all my "middle of" friends. You did not make a mistake. You are not behind. You are JUST in the middle.

Something beautiful is being birthed in you right now. Your heart is growing. God is working. Good is happening even if you can't see it.



P.S. I was recently interviewed by a radio show in Canada about what it means to be in the middle of a journey that is not blessed by others. In particular, I talk more about my story of becoming a pastor though it brought me a lot of separation from the community I grew up in. If podcasts are your thing, check it out over here.