One minute he fit snugly in the palms of hands – at least that how I remember it, he was only just over 4 lbs after all. Then the next moment, his color began to change and suddenly I was no longer holding a thriving baby boy, I was holding a purple colored lifeless body. Panic ensued and by the looks on the faces of the nurses and the swiftness with which they pulled Riley from my arms, I could tell something was seriously wrong.
What we thought would be the end of one season of waiting only ushered us into another.
Weeks of our newborn baby boy spent in the NICU left us waiting.
Waiting to see when we could take him home, waiting to see when he could breathe on his own, waiting to see if he would gain any weight.
We were waiting.
Tom Petty certainly had it right 32 years ago. The waiting is the hardest part.
We all can relate to those words. More than that though, we can’t escape them. It’s a tension of life that is just unavoidable.
Now Riley is 6, and he’s cocking his hat slightly to the right, cause that’s what all the cool kids do, he says. He continues to surprise and impress me, constantly inviting me into the present, the now.
It’s a reminder that I often need, because father’s are always looking ahead. We are always planning, using fancy words like strategic, and while that’s part of what makes us great leaders, it’s also what can make us horrible fathers.
Life is meant to be lived in the now, not tomorrow, not next year, not next whatever, right here, right now.
Those are the moments that count.
Jeff Goins calls it “The In-Between.” His newest book actually is titled The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing. (watch the trailer here)
It comes out August 1st and having had the privilege of working with him on the launch and the book tour, in addition to reading an advanced copy, let me just say, this is a book you’re going to want to read over and over again. It’s that good. (He and I will be coming to a city near you this fall, more on that later though)
You can still pre-order it now, and get all kinds of bonuses for free. ($240 worth, to be exact!)
- “What if waiting was not some grand inconvenience, but rather the very tool God uses to shape & change us?”
- “We don’t recognize the best moments are the ones happening right now.”
- “Maybe God is less concerned with what I’m doing and more concerned with who I’m becoming.”
- “Every time we wait is an opportunity to slow down and be present in an increasingly noisy world.”
- “In our anxiety toward not missing out, we are losing the most meaningful moments of life.”
I find myself waiting quite a bit these days, but I’m learning more and more to accept these times as the grace they truly are.
I’ve realized that in all the time I’ve wasted, spent looking ahead, ignoring the present, little did I know how much God actually cared more about who I was becoming than what I was doing.
Read those words again, because they’re true of you too!
There’s always going to be this tension, this in-between, and that’s ok because this isn’t my home.
It’s not yours either, and one day we’ll both know this and experience it firsthand.
What are you waiting for these days?
How could understanding that the in-between moments are the ones that are most powerful, change the way you live your life?
Share in the comments below!