Jeff Goins is a friend who I’ve known for many years. Jeff loves writing. It’s one of his main passions in life. He writes about writing . . . and he writes. 😉
Jeff has published two print books so far with a third on the way.
I caught up with Jeff recently to interview him on his newest release, The In-Between: Embracing the Tension Between Now and the Next Big Thing.
Jeff, tell us what your new book “The In-Between” is about.
Jeff Goins: It’s about the sacred space in between major moments in life. We tend to glamorize big events in American culture (unfortunately, Christians are not exempt from this), when in reality the most significant times are what happens in between. We become who we are along the journey, not when we arrive at any particular destination. And when we embrace this, we begin to lead lives of greater significance, joy, and gratitude.
What was it that made you want to write this book?
Jeff Goins: The birth of my son. He’s 16 months old now, and every day is a new adventure. After he was born, I would occasionally have to leave town for a trip or just be gone for the day due to work. Often, I’d return home to a completely different child: new words, new mannerisms, even a new attitude. Realizing that when you miss a moment you miss a lot, I resolved to appreciate what I did get to see that much more — even the smaller, more “mundane” times.
What are some “In-Between” moments that have helped shape your life?
Jeff Goins: One of my favorite stories to tell is about my first year of adulthood after college. I traveled with a music ministry for a year, playing with a band all over North America and even spending a month in Taiwan. When I tell people this, they respond with excitement, “Wow! That must’ve been incredible.” Not really. For about half of the year, I was really frustrated. We would literally spend twelve hours sitting in a van only to play a 45-minute concert at a church youth service with six unimpressed tweens watching us with folded arms. But when I finally embraced where I was and the gift of relationship with my other bandmates, things started to turn around. I realized I couldn’t hold out for later; I had to appreciate the “now.”
You’ve talked to a lot of other people about their “in-between” times in the course of writing this book. What have you learned from hearing all those stories?
Jeff Goins: Everybody is waiting for something. Whether it’s a baby to be born or a new job or simply for your in-laws to get a clue, we all hold out hope for that “big moment.” Some of us have things we’ve waited our whole lives for, while others can’t help but get excited for the next big thing, immediately forgetting that last big thing. Some of us are very patient people, and others are not. No matter what, we all are waiting for something. And how we spend that time waiting, to paraphrase Annie Dillard, is how we spend our lives.
What advice would you give to people who are currently in the in-between and find themselves restless?
Jeff Goins: In the words of Jim Elliot, “Wherever you are, be all there.” You can’t control what happens today or where you end up thirty years from know. All you can do is decide who you’re going to be when the unexpected comes. And in those times, may you learn as I did that God is more interested in the person you’re becoming than whatever activity you might be doing at the time.