Bill and I enjoy watching a TV show called “The Middle”….it’s a sweet, silly family comedy about a traditional family- Mom, Dad, and three kids (with not so traditional names- Axle, Sue, and Brick.) Each person has his/her own quirks and Mom narrates a lot of the action and tries to manage the family’s comings and goings and meet their needs….mostly with a lot of good intention but stumbling execution. And yet, each one seems to bring something useful to the need of the …moment and in the end, things work out……And in the next episode the well-intentioned mishaps start again. There is no “happily ever after”……just the ups and downs of life lived in family and community, episode after episode. It leaves one with a hopeful feeling. It is the love that comes through, not the disagreements or the failures. Many of us are in “The Middle”. We can narrate our story out of a sense of love and take the ups and downs in stride in the end. It doesn’t mean that more ups and downs won’t come…they will. It simply means that we can choose to remain in the middle, not risking a slide down the slippery slope of extremes that pull at us.