In high school English class, we read a short story called The Lottery written by Shirley Jackson. It was first published in The New Yorker in 1948 and is still considered one of the most provoking short stories in American literature. Much of its metaphor was lost on my 1970’s youth but I do remember a sense of foreboding and helplessness when our teacher added a viewing of one of its many film adaptations to our class time.
Its major theme is scapegoating – the action of mob psychology and how people will abandon reason and embrace cruelty if they are a part of a larger group behaving in the same manner. According to Wikipedia, “The story describes a fictional small town in contemporary America which observes an annual ritual known as "the lottery". The purpose of the lottery is to choose a human sacrificial victim to be stoned to death to ensure the community's continued well-being.” In the story, towns people draw slips of paper from a box once a year and...
…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...