Permanence, Change, and the Truth About the In-Between

The winds of Autumn blew fiercely, whipping down our street, between these weathered rows of houses.

New England braced for winter's impact and I was already borrowing the winds of change from seasons yet to come. I was down the road into 2017 well before 2016 took its one-and-only bow.

It was the season in business school world for figuring out what to do with the next year of your life, the next rest of your life. Two years quickly evaporating, like we knew they would, but at warp speed.

I blinked.

It’s Spring. And we’re moving on in 35 days. I look around and feel like I might as well move into assisted living. Today will feel like yesterday by the time I get there, right?

And all this forward gazing tempts my heart to shrivel. Builds a facade of temporariness about all of life.

It's not going to last, so why keep investing? If we're leaving, why even bother with making these friendships stronger?

The insidiousness of the lie seeps in unexpected, over dishes, in folding laundry.

Everything changes. Just stop trying.

And really, that's the easy way to cope with life, with the in between. Like this portion of life is more like the waiting room at the doctor's office and it's really not worth making friends so we just keep quiet, like that's what we're supposed to do.

It's true, you know? Everything changes.

But what's more true than the relentless faithfulness of the changing seasons is the relentless faithfulness of their unchanging Maker and the all-too-easily forgotten immortality of the human soul.

I take a second glance at this temporary season of life, and now all I see are eternal beings.

As C.S. Lewis said, "There are no ordinary people. You have never talked to a mere mortal."

I slow and let these words sink in, want them in the marrow of my being, shaping the essence of every cell in my soul. Every person matters.

Every moment spent in the presence of a human being is a moment spent in the presence of eternity.

That's why the remainder of a season matters, even if only five minutes linger.

That's what it means to prize Jesus today for the sake of forever.

Because what we do to and for the people around us will echo into ages to come.

And all these things that change, that come and go and pass away, they distract me from the beautiful and brutal reality that the people are what matter and they matter far more than I ever even realize.

Eternity hinges on my ability to live fully in the here and now.

Souls are at stake if I zone out, go numb, hunker down until the elusive next.

I resolve over and over and over again:

I will not allow the temporary
to dupe me into missing out on
the ever-present permanent.
If there are people, there is purpose.

And if you’re here with me, in an awkward in between, where you sense the seasons may change before you learn the city without Google Maps, before you find a best friend, before you can pry your heart out from all the beauty you've found. Let's be present?

May the women of God make a splash for the endless ages to come in however many weeks we're given just right here.

So, New Haven, here I am. For each of the days Jesus allows me to stay, I'm here with all my heart and soul. Let's make it count. For the sake of forever.