The Middle Places of our Lives

"We seem to have focused so much on exuberant beginnings and victorious endings that we have forgotten about the slow, sometimes torturous unraveling of God's grace that takes place in the 'middle places."--Sue Monk Kidd (When the Heart Waits).The middle places..... these are the times it seems that Jesus lingers. The in-between times. The long, steady obedience in the same direction--that kind of middle place.Middle place might be the middle years. Middle place might be the in-between of jobs and desired vocation. Middle place might be the wilderness between love and being loved. Middle place might be  middle school; half-way house, de-toxing from some dark and grabbing addiction. Middle place might be today or tomorrow.The middle place is the space between the logs in a fire--that hot place where the wind is drawn in which results in a hotter and brighter fire. The middle place might just be our journey on this Good Earth. Americans seem to squirm in the middle years and I wonder how much of our squirming is really due to not thinking through the middle places more in depth. Waiting and wilderness are so often the themes of the folks in our Sacred Book. Why do we resist it so?I'm  wondering if the middle place might also be in the middle of the Potter's wheel---because all of the action seems to be happening either on the top of my clay; the bottom of my clay---but what if this is the truth...that where I need the most work of His hands in my middle places?I'd be interested in what you think? Feel free to write your comments back to me here. Stephen W. Smith