My oldest daughter regularly asks me, “Mom, do we have any plans today?”
To which I answer by listing our activities for the day such as school, ballet, dentist appointments, and the like. To which I get the teenager sigh and, “Not the normal stuff… I mean do we have any PLANS today?”
I’ll come back to this.
I have been playing the song “Dancing” from the new Elevation Worship Album, Lion, on repeat for almost a week now. This one line sticks in my head, playing over and over, burrowing into my heart. The second stanza of the chorus is:
Dancing on the mountain of a Victory
Dancing through the valley of a broken dream
Dancing on the plains of the in-between
If it’s you and me, I won’t stop dancing
“Dancing on the plains of the in-between” What does that even mean? I, like my daughter, constantly am looking for the plan. What’s next? How can we make this better? What big revelation are you going to give me today, Holy Spirit? Where’s the next big event that I can pour my heart into?
What do we do on the plains? What are the plains?
I spent a good amount of my teenage years living in South Dakota. So I suffered many family and school trips gazing out the window at the endless plains of Nebraska, Iowa, and Kansas. There are few things that kill a young person’s soul like riding in a car for eight hours looking at corn. No mountains, no cities, no rivers, just wheat and corn. I coined the phrase, “Are we there yet?” Plains are also easy places to drive. No switch backs, or curvy roads making everyone carsick, no traffic slowing you down. Just a straight shot. Put the cruise control on and power through.
Plains in life may feel like; wake up drink the coffee, drive the kids to school, pick up the groceries, go to work, pick up the kids, cook the dinner, clean up, argue about homework, get ready for bed, watch a show, go to sleep, wake up and do it all over again and again and again. It’s mundane, predictable, maybe even a little numb if I’m being completely honest.
But Holy Spirit, do we have any PLANS today? My oldest asks this question with expectation built up and is often…everyday…disappointed by my answer. I don’t know if we as adults always have the wherewithal to ask Holy Spirit “What are Your plans today?” (maybe we should be asking more). However, I think we carry the disappointment of not seeing breakthroughs. When someone asks you “What is Holy Spirit Speaking to you?” We feel like we need to have some revelation, some breakthrough. I don’t know about you but I sometimes feel ashamed when my answer is, “Well, nothing really.”
If we live our lives for experiences we will become exhausted by expectation… and in turn, disappointment.
There is nothing wrong or selfish about desiring experiences. However, how are we filling, or numbing the in-between? Have we filled every space with busyness, not allowing ourselves to hear Holy Spirit whisper, “Come dance with me.” Are we so numb, we can no longer feel the subtle brush of his hand on ours inviting us to the dance floor.
What if we embraced the plains of the in-between? What would happen if we added a little dancing to our everyday mundane tasks? Plains are a place we can gain a lot of ground. We are still on the journey even if there is no end in sight. So let’s ask Holy Spirit “Where are you on these plains?”
I’m pretty sure I know HIs answer.