Link to Somewhere in the Middle. No, this is not a political statement, nor am I about to go into the upcoming election. Had you going for a minute. I want to know, how are you doing? Lately I have had a feeling of going backwards. I was on an upward track in my career, now I left all that to run a non-profit. The last few years our oldest has gone off to college and now the second is a senior, and I am back to the question “how are we going to pay for that?” On top of that my wife and I have been in the raising kids mode for quite a few years now, and are probably a little worried about being empty nesters. Life is like that, one minute I think I have everything under control, then you can’t figure out what you need to be doing? I think my wife is getting tired of me having a long drawn out middle age crisis. Have you ever seen the cartoon about success? It shows one side “our view of success” which is a straight line going up at a forty-five degree angle. The other side shows “real success” as a wiggly line twisting and running all over the page ending up pointing in an upward direction. This side is more like my life.
This is the reality of raising our families, living out our marriages, and even developing ourselves. I want the straight line, but that isn’t going to happen. Life is more like the progress our son had after his surgeries. We would get to a point where he was no longer getting better despite all the therapy. The doctors would recommend another surgery. These always set him back. On one occasion they rearranged both of his knees. It was really amazing, they rotated his legs twenty degrees, moved his knee-caps then attached it all with screws and plates to let it all heal. He spent the entire summer on the couch with ice packs on his legs unable to move much. When we visited the doctor at the end of the summer, it turned out one of the plates holding the bones together had failed to do its job, and they would have to go back in and undo everything and let it heal before the could try again. I can tell you that was a low point for him. My son had dreams of being done with all of the surgeries in time for school to start. It was his freshman year in high school and really wanted to enter school with this behind him. It took time for him to heal and they went back in and re-did the surgery, and this time it was successful. It was a tough school year, but by his sophomore year he was out of his wheelchair and walking. While he will never have a normal style of walking, he is able to get where he needs to go, and none of that would have been possible without all the trials of those surgeries. He is now in his third year of college and doing great. I wouldn’t say he wouldn’t be where he is now without the surgeries but it would be a lot harder for him without it. The trick seems to be keeping our eyes on the goal. Philippians 3 13b-14 Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. The wandering can be frustrating, but I hope you can look back on where your family was four years ago, and say the arrow is at least pointing up!