…the time between one occurrence and another
…the period of time between now and when something is supposed to happen.
Recently, when meditating on this common phrase, it occurred to me that how we are “in the meantime” quite possibly is the most telling barometer of one’s state of spiritual maturity.
Between the “substance of things hoped for” phase and having the tangible experience of that thing, were we cool and assured or did we break a sweat in the heat of worry and concern over our hopes and dreams not happening? Were we flexible and curious in the ways and means our dream would arrive or did we micro manage and try to control every part of the timeline.
If you’re like me, every ‘in the meantime’ brings about the opportunity to reexamine what we say we believe in.
What we do in the meantime counts for everything that defines our life. By the word do I mean the way we think, speak and behave.
This span of time becomes a measure of our personal faith. In the seeming absence between praying/declaring/affirming something for ourselves and that something’s actual appearance, we vacillate between questioning will this really happen or assuredly knowing our prayer is already answered. In the meantime becomes a measure of our current state of consciousness. Our thoughts, words and deeds expressed in this meantime tell everything there is to know about who we currently are and the conviction of our beliefs.
Nineteenth century writer James Allen’s powerful work, As A Man Thinketh, beautifully examines one’s relationship with conscious thought and its unfailing process in architecturally creating our world.
Mind is the Master power that molds and makes
And Man is Mind, and evermore he takes
The tool of Thought, and, shaping what he wills,
Brings forth a thousand joys, a thousand ills.
He thinks in secret, and it comes to pass.
Environment is but his looking glass.
We become spiritually rich, Allen writes, when we discover the adventure within; when we are conscious of the oneness of all life. He continues that wherever you may be, under whatsoever conditions you may live, know this – in the ocean of life the isles of blessedness are smiling and the sunny shore of your ideal awaits your coming.
What if, as suggested by Allen, we were able to embrace that enigmatic meantime with a sense of adventure?
To me, adventure pulses with the exhilaration of the unknown. It is the sense of excitement and possibility that appears only when realizing that outcomes may bring greater resolve than what we, in our limited humanness can fathom. Adventure pulls us outside of the boundaries of our normalcy and brings expansion to the doorstep of our human existence. When and where did we lose our sense of adventure? When did we trade in that kind of expansion for a false sense of manufactured security or deceptive assurance from failing? If we fueled that meantime with an adventuresome spirit, then the natural expectancy of good does exactly what this spiritual law dictates. It delivers to us good.
Allen writes, “Good thoughts and actions can never produce bad results; bad thoughts and actions can never produce good results….nothing can come from corn but corn, nothing from nettles but nettles. We understand this law in the natural world and work with it, but few understand it in the mental and moral world though its operation there is just as simple.”
Simple, simple stuff.
Life is simple. Every spiritual master that ever lived spoke simply. Jesus – “Ask and it is given, seek and you shall find. Knock and the door shall be opened (assurance). Buddha – “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thought. With our thoughts, we make our world.” (self mastery)
How can we return to that simplicity – that eagerness for what the unknown meantime can bring us?
Are you willing to become conscious of how you think in between paychecks, doctor’s visits, job searching?
Are you willing to have faith in the rich fertile beauty that exists between the dissolution of a marriage or relationship and the beginning of another – between loss and appearance?
Becoming aware of our behavior in this meantime becomes the start of strengthening our faith, reacquainting ourselves with adventure and moving us closer to receiving our inherent gifts in abundant supply.