No Pasa Nada

(Written last night, 1:46am EDT)

As I’m flying to Seattle after a day… err… a week of total unpredictability, I just finished reading a chapter of a book I’ve struggled to read since late-2013. It’s entitled The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing, by Jeff Goins. It was recommended by one of my favorite authors, Mark Batterson. I have other books I’m currently reading but somehow I opened this book again for some unknown reason.

The timing of what was written on the pages I just read and what seems to be happening in my life at this very moment is uncanny. As you may have read in an earlier post, my wife Sharon broke her foot a scant 96 hours prior to us departing on an Alaskan cruise vacation. The vacation was (is) well-planned because, after all, I’m a supreme planner. I love to plan! I plan vacations, I plan 3-week-long motorcycle trips, I make business plans, I create marketing plans… I love to plan! I’m good at it and it normally pays off.

But my wife breaks her foot and it disrupts “the plan”. My reaction, as previously posted, was deplorable. Okay… confessed and forgiven. We flew from Charlottesville to Philadelphia and because of an amazing series of storms up the east coast (not to mention an approaching hurricane), all flights were grounded. Our five and a half hour layover in Philly – on the way to Seattle – turned into a 12-hour marathon of watching our flight status and human nature in the laboratory called Philadelphia International Airport.

We are airborne over Ohio, I’m guessing, and I read a quick story about the author’s experience in Spain as a college student one summer. He says:

“They have a phrase — ‘no pasa nada’ — which literally means ‘nothing happens.’ It’s similar to the American phrase ‘no big deal.’ Late for a meeting? No pasa nada. Need to skip class today to take care of a personal issue? No pasa nada. Such a cultural mindset was freeing; and the more of it I experienced, the more I wanted. And although it took months of rebellion before I could succumb to this laid-back way of life, that little expression eventually saved me. There was a power to those words, a potency in embracing the unexpected. That simple, carefree little phrase taught me to let go of my little plans in exchange for a bigger picture. It meant being able to laugh at myself at times and accept when things didn’t turn out the way I’d hoped.”

When I read those words somewhere over who-knows-where, I almost couldn’t believe it! God has created a perfect storm of sorts in order to speak the words “No pasa nada” into my life. Embracing the unexpected.

Sounds like a plan.


I haven’t written in a couple of days. I think the reason is that, simply, I don’t have anything to say. I’m sort of “dry”. I’m struggling, not spiritually, but… spiritually. I’m not steeped in sin and estranged from God. Hardly. I love God with all my heart. And He loves me with all of His.

I’m struggling to see the direction He is leading me. I am struggling to see the direction He is leading US – my wife and I. We been going to the same church for 10 months (after being at another church for 15 years), and we haven’t made one new friend. Not one (Except the pastor, who is a wonderful man who has helped me personally a great deal). It seems as though everyone is busy living their own lives. I understand.

I owe this pastor a great deal. He has helped me immensely after leaving my previous church and dealing with all the baggage that went along with it. I will forever be in his debt. He has helped me journey into the welcoming, ever-open arms of God’s love. He has helped me see that the Kingdom of God is unshakeable. I owe him… big-time.

However, neither Sharon nor I feel connected to the church. We come in, sit down, worship, shake hands with those around us, listen to a great sermon (always), and leave. We even come back during the week and are a part of a small group. Yet, there’s no connection.

“We were made to wait, to long for things unseen. This is the place from which dreams and desires come.” — Jeff Goins, The In-Between

I think that’s where we are: in-between. But in this place of waiting… of being “in-between”, a place of trust, Mr. Goins says, I find it difficult to dream or to desire. Instead, I am tempted to despair. He says it’s a place of change and the change happens in you and me as we wait. That is true. I am not the man I was 10 months ago. My outlook is fundamentally different. I am a child of God, in whom Christ dwells, and I reside in the unshakeable Kingdom of God. 10 months ago, I couldn’t say that. My theology has changed, too.

I no longer am striving, trying to be “good” enough so that God will look at me, hear me, or show his love to me. I no longer believe that I have to do something to be accepted by God. After all, I didn’t do anything for God to accept me to begin with. I have changed.

So, here I am. I am longing. Dreaming. Desiring. Waiting… in-between.