Earlier this year, the whole world changed. Called out of a world we knew, we landed in time out of ordinary time. Everything was radically different; yet we didn’t even have a name for this universally shared human experience. Without an explicit, shared tradition of stepping away from ordinary time, many people feel lost. We are people who like to know what is going to happen. We are not fond of uncertainty. As a culture we have no name, no tradition, no practices, tools, or rituals for living outside the familiar comforts of what we know. We are participating in an evolutionary time unlike any we have known before.
Spiritual Director Susan Beaumont calls this “liminal time”, a season where something has ended but a new thing has not yet begun. “Liminal seasons are challenging, disorienting, and unsettling. We strive to move forward with purpose and certainty. Instead we feel as though we are trudging through mud, moving away from something comfortable and known, toward something that can’t yet be known.” We are on a threshold, not quite knowing how we got here and very uncertain about where we are going. Someone has said that thresholds are God’s waiting room.
Scripture points our way to a timeless understanding that each day, each moment, is an unearned gift from a gracious God, rather than a commodity to be traded or spent for something else. Always and forever we are to stand in awe before God, from whose mighty acts nothing can be added or taken away. God is the creator of time. God sets the rhythm of reality.
“We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.
So we do not lose heart. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure,because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal.”
(2 Corinthians 4:8-10; 14-16)
Rev. Lorrie Skinner