To be honest, I don’t really remember any of my chapels from college.
Three times a week, without fail – I must have attended hundreds throughout my four years of Taylor living. When I think of them, they all melt into a feeling – a general sense of inspiration and challenge and worship and community.
I remember the speaker for his beautiful lilted English accent. And for the way he sat at the piano and charmed and teased the keys until we were captivated.
But most of all, I remember his words.
The way he spoke of the always and the now, the what is and what is yet to come, the infinite in the limited and dying. You see, he said, the kingdom of God has already come, but the reign of sin hasn’t ended. And here we are, living in the overlap.
The victory won but the war still waging.
Such a catchy phrase, this living in the overlap, that I joked with friends about titling my debut album with it, little knowing that it was burrowing deep into my heart.
You may have noticed a name change around here. I’ve been wrestling with the title of this blog since I first created the URL. I chose “UN settled” originally because I was in the process of being unsettled myself, starting a new marriage in a new state with a new home and job.
But I believe in the power of words, and “UN settled” never captured exactly. what. I. wanted.
God works in funny ways. I say or think or ponder “living in the overlap” a thousand times a year, yet it was only two weeks ago I realized that the phrase, was, in fact, the perfect name for this little corner of mine.
Not only are we living in the overlap of the Kingdom and of sin, we also live in the overlap of the pain and joy, the great moments and the mundane, the spectacular and the ordinary. Life happens in these in between spaces – not in the dramatic, or the finished, or the completed and achieved. And that is what I write about here. The in between, small spaces that add up to a lifetime of Kingdom-living. The cooking and cleaning and housework and healthy habits and frustrated mornings and Gospel teachings that are quiet and constant and revolutionary. That are duty and entropy and sin, and worship and sacrifice and holy living and joy bound up in one.
Life happens here, now, in this quiet overlap…in these relationships, in this space, with this to do list and this job. Here is your mission and your ministry and work and calling. Not in the flamboyant highlights, but in the gentle constant underflow of now.
So, join me in the overlap? In the making seemingly tiny moments infinite because the Kingdom of God is here, and we are fully engaged in the battle?
Jenni! I love this. Your writing is captivating. Bravo.
Thank you. 🙂
So glad to have an explanation, and so glad to have this collective memory with you (I still think often about Dr. Jeremy Begbie). Thank your for writing, and pondering. Love walking the journey with you!
Dr. Jeremy Begbie. Thanks for remembering the name, Cara. I have often wanted to look him up but didn’t even remember his name!
He’s written several books. Such a kind man. He left a very deep impression on me.
Me too, apparently. 🙂
Love it! Love the new name, love the post. You’ve once again hit it dead center, and in our constantly thrill-seeking-more-is-better-grass-must-be-greener-over-there culture (shades of Heidegger with all those hyphens?) yours is an important message.
Yes, living in the overlap explains the “unsettled” feeling I feel most days…desperately wanting to feel connected and contented in the here and now, but feeling the pull of the eternally significant. Living in the overlap is both earthy and grounded in its healthy state and inspired and soaring at the same time. The pull and tug often creates a sadness that is difficult to emerge from, but it is the catalyst, I think, that keeps us growing and changing. As always, Jenni, you express with your words things that are true in my heart, but which aren’t easy for me to verbalize. I have always enjoyed your love affair with words, a divine love affair, I think. Love you.