Wednesday. It’s the middle of the week. The 13th of September, the middle of the month. We’re just in the middle. In the middle of what we started but has not yet ended. Nobody likes the middle. Let’s get to the end already!
The hardest years of marriage are said to be years 7 and 8. This is the time frame of more divorces than any other. These years are labeled “high risk” for marriage. You’ve heard of the 7 year itch, yeah, you’re itching to get divorced! You’re not the “new couple” anymore, but you’re not the “old couple” that have been together so long you start to look like each other. You’re in the middle. You’re high risk and you’re itchy.
Just like life. In the middle of what we started but has not yet ended. That whole mid-life crisis thing can be real.
We get a little lost in the middle. Purpose becomes blurry. Energy dips. We begin to question what’s the point in what we’re doing. Is it worth it? The week has been rough, why keep trying so hard? The month hasn’t been perfect, what’s the point in all this effort if it’s not making a drastic difference? He’s not giving you the warm fuzzies any more and you don’t want to spend the rest of your life feeling cold. And to top it all off, you look in the mirror and you see everything just getting worse. Hairs grow overnight in places they shouldn’t be. How is it fair that you’re still getting pimples like a teenager, while your skin is wrinkling like an old woman? That’s not fair.
Hey, life isn’t fair. You’re here one day and you’re gone the next. But you’re here today, so what are you going to do with this? Yes, this middle. That’s where you are, in the middle. The part where it’s easy to lose hope, lose focus, and settle for less than what life could be.
You don’t have to be miserable here. The world wants to enslave you in miserable routines that suck the life out of you and keep you stuck in doing the same pointless things out of habit. The world will make your eyes glaze over with boring repetitiveness that says “Yay, it’s Friday. Boo, the weekend was too short. Oh no, Monday is coming. Blehhhh, it’s just Wednesday.” We’re just showing up each day as little slaves knowing we don’t get excited over Wednesdays. We don’t get our hopes up for change in the middle of the month. We just try not to kill the person we vowed to love for the rest of our days in those high risk years. And we’re not getting any younger here so things are only getting worse.
Isn’t life more than this? Isn’t this day, yes, this Wednesday, of greater value than the unimpressive middle position we give it as if it holds nothing worth waking up for? This is the day the Lord has made, have we forgotten to rejoice and be glad in it?
Today, you will experience once-in-a-lifetime moments. Things that will never, ever happen again will unfold right in front of you. But will you be so busy dragging around the chains of the “middle” that you never even look up?
Chains. Yes, chains. Routines. Habits. To do lists. Have to go there, have to do that. Punch the clock. Check the box. Wish it all away so you can plop yourself on the couch at the end of the day and zone out.
Slaves. Girls, we have somehow taken this miraculous thing called life, and we’ve become slaves in it. We’re here, but we’re not really here. We’re alive, but we’re not really living.
1 Corinthians 7:23, “God paid a high price for you, so don’t be enslaved by the world.”
You know what modern day slaves look like? Robots. Robots that do, but don’t think. Robots that move, but don’t live. Robots that work, but don’t enjoy. We are the robots. The slaves.
I wonder if we were to watch a high speed video of ourselves living this entire day of life, what would we see? Would we like what we see? Or would we be embarrassed? Would we look like little miserable slaves zipping from one thing to the next, heads down, missing out. You know how time lapse videos show the movement of the sun across the sky and the change of the colors and shadows, then the stars as the seem to dance in the night sky spinning. And here we are walking around right in the middle of it, oblivious. Slaves to all we are doing, just missing the show. Robots doing our work, but never looking up.
You work 8 hours a day to live what … 2? 2 hours of the day you live and enjoy? Or is that generous? Did you live and enjoy any of your hours yesterday?
You work all year just to take a 1 or 2 week vacation. And that vacation ended up being not so perfect and went by way too fast.
You sleep 6 hours, but regret that it wasn’t 7. You sleep 7 hours, but complain it couldn’t be 8. You sleep 8 hours and still hate the mornings.
You drank your coffee, but don’t remember tasting it. You ate your meals, but didn’t savor it. Totally robotic.
And this is what happens in the middle. In the middle of this ridiculously blessed life where it’s just normal to wake up and the world is still spinning. It’s just normal for you to be able to get out of bed and walk. It’s just normal for your eyes to see, your ears to hear, and your lungs to breathe. It’s normal for the water to run. It’s normal for your car to start. It’s all just normal here in the middle.
So what … are you going to wait until the end when you’re not able to get out of bed so easily, and then you think you’re going to be grateful for it? You think you’re going to wait until your body is falling apart to start loving it? You think you’re going to wait until your very last day of work to appreciate the opportunities you were given there? You think you’re going to wait until the two of you retire together to enjoy each other?
If you can’t do that here in the middle, you won’t do it in the end. You know why? Because in the end you’ll be wondering how it all went so fast. You’ll wonder why the heck you spent so long living like a slave instead of enjoying the blessings you were surrounded with. Girl, you will regret being a robot when life was waiting for you to live it this whole time.
Watch yourself from a distance today. Catch yourself when you’re walking with your head down and just going through the motions. See when you’re taking sheer miracles for granted. Look at what you have today that you won’t always have. If you’re looking like a slave, wake up! If you’re living like a robot, snap out of it.
Ecclesiastes 9: 7-9, “Seize life! Oh yes—God takes pleasure in your pleasure! Dress festively every morning. Don’t skimp on colors and scarves. Relish life with the spouse you love each and every day of your precarious life. Each day is God’s gift. It’s all you get in exchange for the hard work of staying alive. Make the most of each one! Whatever turns up, grab it and do it. And heartily! This is your last and only chance at it.”
Your creator is watching you as you live your life. Will he see you taking pleasure in what you do today? Oh, that gives him pleasure! Will he see you loving the life you have and living it as a gift? Will he see you making the most of this day? Will he see you doing whatever it is you do with energy and passion?
Always remember, God is watching. Yes, he’s watching you here in the middle where it’s so easy to give up and coast. He’s watching you here where others check out, and he’s hoping you won’t do the same. And if he sees you with your eyes open, savoring life, taking pleasure in all he has done for you, making the most of this day and its opportunities, then the master says as Jesus taught in Matthew 25:21, “Well done, my good and faithful servant. You have been faithful in handling this small amount, so now I will give you many more responsibilities. Let’s celebrate together!”
Today matters. How you live today matters. Wake up little robot, there’s living to do today. Break free of the chains which have held you back in a joyless life of tasks and chores, and be faithful with the living you have been offered today.