all the days in between

I was thinking about Paul the other day.

He spent somewhere between 27 months and three years in Ephesus. We know what he did night and day for three years. We know what he did for two years. We know what he did for three months. We know what happened in a couple conversations on a couple of days.

However, we don’t know what he had for breakfast. We don’t know whether his coffee spilled and ruined his best robe. (Well, actually, since coffee hadn’t yet been found, we know that he never spilled his coffee. On the other hand, we are more clueless than ever how he was able to do the writing he did without coffee.) We don’t know where he lived or how comfortable the bed was or whether there was a bed. We don’t know

All we know about those three years is that he talked with people morning and night, in homes and in synagogues and in some lecture hall. A day at a time, a conversation at a time, he built relationships and taught.

And awhile later, when the leaders of the church in Ephesus that he helped build heard that they wouldn’t see him again, they wept. Cranky, obnoxious, combative Paul, and they were going to miss him.

Paul did have individual days. He had mornings where he couldn’t get his car started. He had mornings where he was out of ink. He had lunches that were wonderful. He lived a life full of minutes. Just because we have no record of them doesn’t mean he didn’t live them.

But for Paul, each day was an opportunity to understand God better:

Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.

2 thoughts on “all the days in between

  1. Rich Dixon

    Perhaps “writing without coffee” was Paul’s mysterious “thorn in the flesh.”

    The notion that Paul–and Jesus–lived everyday lives with everyday experiences is one of my most powerful realizations. He ate and drank and had nights when He slept badly, just like me. Whenever He seems to big and far away, that thought brings Him closer. He knows what it’s like.

    I’ve been accused of being a bit irreverant when I call attention to some of the mundane human realities that Jesus faced. I don’t see it like that. For me, it’s great comfort to know, and reflect on, the fact that He lived the same life I live, except that He did it A LOT better.

    Preachers spend a lot of time emphasizing Jesus’ divinity. Sometimes I wonder if they might help struggling people by focusing on His days in between.


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