Sunday, January 12, 2020

Here In The Middle

"So I don't wanna go home now
Stuck here in the middle alone now
Everybody's singing their song now
But I'm still reeling...

I'm not trying to run away from
This beautiful life I've been given
I'm not looking for freedom
Maybe just a little meaning
Here in the middle..."

Five years ago I felt just like that. I had a decent blue-collar job and doing my best to raise a family. Basically, just livin' and gettin' by. Well, sometimes health problems had us in survival mode. Nevertheless, we felt blessed to be taken care of.

Then a career opportunity came my way. The catch was we'd have to move. I laid in bed many nights debating whether we should risk our "safe existence". I didn't want to mess things up for my family. I was so anxious that I sought counsel from friends and loved ones. In doing so a wise friend simply said:

"I hope you get that job. You should be leading people."

Oh, it was like a dagger, because I knew he was right. I went to college to be a pastor but that didn't work out. Still, I was trained to be a leader and had some gifts to back it up. My friend's comment stung even more because I knew God called me to lead, but I was running from that calling. Like Jonah, I caught a boat to anywhere but Ninevah but I got tossed back on dry land.

These days I'm an operations manager for the biggest employer in our small town. I'm an elder and youth group leader at our church. I'm a dad, husband, coach, Bible teacher, and mentor. Shoot, all I do is lead!

It's stressful and it's fun. It's messy and it's beautiful. There are times I'm gritting my teeth and I want to quit. They are often followed by teary-eyed times counting my blessings.

All of these roles are pushing me. I've found meaning in service; the suffering and the laughter. I've found humility in putting other's needs before my own.

Thanks for the beautiful song Bebo. I felt that way for at least a decade, but I'm not stuck in the middle anymore.

Dan Westfall
January 2020