“For me to live is Christ [His life in me], and to die is gain [the gain of the glory of eternity]. But I am hard-pressed between the two. My yearning desire is to depart (to be free of this world) and be with Christ, for that is far, far better; but to remain in my body is more needful and essential for your sake” (Philippians 1:21-24 Amp).
Limina, Latin word meaning threshold, transitional period, or occupying positions on both sides of a boundary, presents a broad usage. Liminality first introduced in early 20th century, marries social and scientific understanding of space and time.
Delivering thousands of babies over thirty-five years, my husband grasps the meaning of liminal. Fully dilated and in labor, he knows the lady’s pregnancy will end by birthing process. Bordering between a fetus dependent upon mom and a newborn, the baby reaches transitional stage. Entering the world, breaking forth from womb-life, the infant breathes on its’ own.
Carrie Underwood recorded a song about a young mother going home for Christmas. Driving through snowy fog the car began spinning on thin layers of black-sleeted ice. Tension builds in Carrie’s voice when the ‘momma with a toddler aboard’ loses control, throws her arms in the air praying, ‘Jesus take the wheel’! During a brief moment, time stopped and the mom experienced both sides of a boundary---safety versus danger.
The Franciscan Priest Richard Rohr, author of 'Falling Upward', called this waiting place ‘liminal space’. It’s described as posturing submission; quietly listening and sitting in God’s presence holding nervous thoughts or fears. The Psalmist named it Selah and faithful Abrahams 'not knowing whither’ (Hebrews 11:8).
‘Already sitting' in heavenly realms (Eph 2:6), believers taste living in two dominions. Occupying and remaining on the brink, we await Jesus’ return. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the [sound of the] last trumpet call, transformation takes place from here to there (1 Corinthians 15:52).
“Jesus take the wheel, take it from my hands, I can’t do this on my own.
I’m letting go, Jesus take the wheel”