Have you ever found yourself in that ‘in-between’ place? That place where you are moving toward some place and away from another, but are not quite there yet? We take steps and move forward, but as we do, we are often mindfully aware of the doors we are closing behind. The holding pen between Heaven and Hell, some call this place purgatory. In tennis, they call it no-man’s land. It’s the place where you can neither play your best offense nor your best defense. Stay there too long, and you’re sure to lose. From no-man’s land, the only real way to win is to wait for your opening and then come into the net. You move out of ambiguity and away from the illusory ‘safety’ of a defensive game. You play to win. But if you’ve ever played competitive tennis, you know that sometimes, you have to wait. You learn that just as in chess, the best moves are planned several steps out. A winning game requires good strategy, a solid set up, continued focus on the desired outcome, and above all, patience.
These days I find myself in such a place. Doors beginning to crack open, just as others are beginning to close…not necessarily dictated by circumstances outside of myself, but because my heart has made a decision. Because I have a vision for my life. Because I refuse to go back to sleep or to play it safe or to stay stuck. There is movement all around me, a foot crossing over the threshold…waiting, watching, and wondering how it all will unfold. No longer wavering on where I am headed, I am moving again, in transit, though I’ve not yet arrived at my next stop along the way.
This is the part of the journey that requires Faith. It requires patience. It is the part of the journey where we learn to let go…to trust…in our dreams, in our heart, in ourselves. From my perspective, it is the hardest part. It’s that awkward pause of silence in a conversation. It’s that moment when we want to fill the space in between with noise and distraction, yet know that what we need most is to learn to simply be still. Playing to win isn’t always about movement. Sometimes it’s about timing. It’s about knowing the difference between pushing blindly forward and waiting for the right move. It’s about training, focus, vision and strategy; it’s about patience in execution.
Have you ever found yourself caught in-between? How do you practice patience on the way to a dream? When you step out in Faith…when you walk towards one door and watch the other one begin to close, how do you steady yourself? How do you execute the vision for your life when part of the strategy calls for standing still?