Living in the In-between
By Presbytera Jocelyn Mathewes
The beginning of the liturgical year has passed for nearly a month. But now, we’re in-between feasts and fasts. Through the month of October, there are very few major celebrations to be had, and the fasting schedule appears regular; rather boring, one could say.
But what does our life look like in the in-between? Is it truly “boring” — and what do our prayers do until we reach the next milestone?
Like a marathon runner focused on her pacing and breath, we must focus on our rhythm of prayer and connection with God. We must remember to root our steps, touching down regularly with our ground, otherwise we may stumble and fall and do damage to ourselves.
These times of the in-between are respites for when we can practice the most regular of disciplines. In a way, preparing for a big fast or feast together can feel easy; it’s a way to get excited, to come together as a group and gather energy to do something wonderful and outstanding.
But it’s hard to keep on keeping on in the unyielding everyday. It’s hard to stay encouraged that something is happening or that you’re moving forward when the scenery never changes. It’s hard when your body and soul cry out, “Where is the end?”
Because really what we’re doing in these in-between times is practicing our expectant waiting.
We wait for news from the doctor.
We wait our turn in line.
We wait for the letter to arrive.
We wait for our food finish cooking.
We wait for our child to get well.
We wait in traffic.
We wait for that next word of encouragement to keep us going.
We wait for the prayer to end so we can speak our, “Amen.”
SO while we wait in the in-between, let us always be looking for the smaller the moments of arrival; the end of a petition, that we too may also say, “So be it.”