What Are Middles For? To Live In


“Endings are for gratitude, beginnings are for faith.”
– John Piper

If endings are for gratitude, and beginnings are for faith, what are middles for?

Two years ago I pressed hard into “Now” as my One Word. But I’m leaning in again, especially as I reread The Power of Now with my bookclub.

One thing I continue to learn is:

This moment is never a throw-away.

Today is not a space to suspend while you wait for something better.

Middles aren’t meant to be wasted.

Middles are meant to be lived.

Yes, we still anticipate change for moments yet to come. And we still look back on moments past to reminisce.

But in this very moment—regardless of what bad or good things are also in it—we are to . . .

  • live joyfully,
  • love recklessly,
  • and believe intensely.

This is the moment God is most present in our lives.

It is the ending of one thing, whether we understand why or not (thank God for it).

It is the beginning of a new thing, however large or small (grasp grace that accompanies it).

There is enough in this moment.

Live it now.

* * *

Are you more prone to look back, to look ahead, or stay in the moment? Let’s discuss in the comments.

revised from the archives

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27 thoughts on “What Are Middles For? To Live In

  1. Kym

    In general, I live in the now, but oh I can worry about the future as much as anyone. This reminds me of a conversation I had with my daughter yesterday – we need to prepare for the future, but enjoy the present so that we’re not anxious about the future.

  2. Lori Schumaker

    Hi Lisa! It’s so good to be back here visiting you! My break was needed, but I missed my people! And what a good word for me today! Living the moments in the middle! Yes!
    Thanks for the inspiration this Monday morning ♥

    Blessings and smiles,

  3. Debby

    Love these three things you emphasize:
    live joyfully,
    love recklessly,
    and believe intensely.

    Feeling in the middle myself these days and your words are a good reminder that these three things should be part of all my days. Thanks, Lisa.

  4. etta

    Hi Lisa – as wrong as it may be, I keep looking back. I am now an “empty-nester” and looking back brings joy and tears at the same time.
    I’m taking your words to heart to live in the “now”, I know there is good in it!

  5. Lesley

    Great wisdom here. I think at times I can be drawn into focus on both the past and the future. I need to remind myself that the present moment is what we have and to make the most of it. I agree, we shouldn’t wait around for circumstances to be perfect before we start living.

  6. Jerralea

    Lisa, I like this very much! “Today is not a space to suspend while you wait for something better.”

    Now is all we are promised. We never know when the final earthly now ends and eternity begins.

    I want to live my middle well and savor every second!

  7. Diana

    Oh, yes, Lisa! Amen and AMEN! I have to stay focused on “the middle” because of everything constantly going on in my life, especially hubby’s medical stuff. Don’t have time to think about the past (that wastes precious energy) and I only need to trust God for the future while I live “the middle” now. \o/ Blessings to you!

    Visiting via Barbie’s #glimpesofhisbeauty… I’m in the #23 spot.

  8. Michele Morin

    So glad I found this post, Lisa, because I’m not a middle person at all. In fact, last summer on an (endless) canoe trip, I groused to my husband that I’m a “destination” person, not a journey person. I have so much to learn.

  9. Jean Wise

    wow needed to read this tonight. Middles aren’t meant to be wasted. Too often I think the middles are where I get bogged down, muddled and lost. I wade through them like hard work. Your words made me realize though the beauty and life in the middle of now and not yet. Thank you. This is something I will pray and journal about. Live now right?

  10. Karen Woodall

    Agreed! We are way to worried about what will happen tomorrow or angst over what happened yesterday and missed what is NOW. But when we do that, we trade what we have for what is gone or what may never be. As Paul says, let us always learn to ‘make the most of our time for the days are evil.’

  11. floyd

    Great thoughts. Every second is a gift and the mixture of our wisdom from God and the free will that comes from being made in His image, is nothing short of a miracle.

    Wishing the “middle” portions of our lives away, is still wishing our lives away.

  12. David

    Dear Lisa

    I have always been terrible for regrets, resentments, and anxieties, so your “Now” theme and posts like this are very good for me. There’s a related lack of confidence about the present (“Is /this/ the best thing for me to be doing?”) which come to think of it is really a raking over the recent past (whenI decided to do /this/).

    Now, thinking of a Psalm will help lift me out of all that; often just a line will do (e.g., a semi-ironic, “Oh Lord, how many are my foes”). Thinking of Jesus with me and the Lord around me makes me happier with myself and more at one with my situation.


  13. Susan

    I just love this. “What are the middles for?” Middles are meant to be lived. I am always tending to either go back and dwell on my regrets or forward with worry and struggle with living in the “now.” What a sweet reminder.

  14. Liz

    I’m struggling with this right now. We’ve just moved and I keep waiting to really live. Waiting for the house to be just right or the friends to come knocking or the …. anything really! Thanks for convicting me to life in THIS moment fully! Blessings!

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