If you’ve ever ridden on London’s underground metro system, you know that there is a voice that comes across saying, “Please mind the gap.” It is a kind message urging passengers to notice the gap between the subway car and platform. It’s plastered all over London (I even got a plaque that says it when I went to London in 2006). The saying is very simple and pretty unforgettable, yet something that I believe is extremely important for us to remember.
I believe that there is a gap in many of our lives that we have not done a good job of “minding.” I know for me it is the gap between believing what I know is true (God is good and trustworthy) and living out my life as though that good, trustworthy God wants to use me and work through me.
I know He is enough.
I know that I am not enough.
I know that I need Him if I ever want to be enough.
But I believe that there’s no way that a good, loving, trustworthy God would ever use someone like me.
There’s a gap.
And I’m not minding it.
I want to put an emphasis on the word, “mind.” According to Webster’s Dictionary, to mind means, “regard as important, feel concern about.” I think that too often we try to avoid or bypass the gap because we think that we should know better. I’ve done a great job of avoiding the gap, but I’ve struggled to mind it. I don’t want to mind the gap! I want to barrel through the gap and ignore it and convince myself that if I just focus on Him and remind myself that He is trustworthy, then I’ll be fine. If I can convince my mind, then my heart will surely follow, right???
I’ve been a Christian for most of my life and so therefore I know all the good Sunday School answers on how to help with this. I have grown up singing songs and memorizing verses about how He is good. I can repeat back all the things I know about God. I can talk to myself about His promises. I know that God is trustworthy. He has proved this to me over and over again.
I know these things. But at the end of the day, I still have a gap between what I know and how I live. I feel as though the good things that I don’t have my life aren’t happening because I’m not good enough.
I don’t like to mind the gap and think about the lies that I believe. I want to jump right to the part where I trust in God and bypass all the lies, questions, and hard things that are in the gap. However, if I only focus on these things, and not the hard things that I have to work through, I am merely avoiding the gap. I do really well at avoiding the gap rather than minding it.
Questions like, “Why don’t we have a baby yet?” “Why does she get to experience it and I don’t?” “Why me, God?”
Lies like, “If I was a better Christian, then I’d be pregnant.” “I’m not worthy enough to be a parent.” “I have too many things to still ‘work through’, and that’s why I’m not pregnant.” “No one wants to spend time with me.” (I could go on and on about the lies that run through my head, but I’ll spare you the craziness!)
Hard things like: losing people that I love, having “my people” not get me, and trying to parent someone else’s child while they work to get better
I don’t like to speak about these things. It’s too hard. And plus… I’m a Christian. I’m blessed. I serve a holy, mighty God. I don’t need to work through these things!
But the truth is that if I don’t mind the gap, I’ll never be able to fully live entrusted and empowered as a child of God. If I don’t work through those questions, lies, and hard things, I will keep searching and coming up short.
My challenge to you (and to me as well), is to mind the gap. Ask the hard questions. Be honest. Expose lies. Speak truth. Take all the hard things and lay them at the throne of Christ.
He’s inviting you to do so.
- Crystal is a Christ follower and missional teacher of Communications and Leadership Development to three hundred boisterous six graders. She and her husband, Ben, love living in a great little community of Adel, IA, outside of Des Moines. She loves cheering on the Cyclones, counting her many blessings, the Iowa State Fair, Minnie Mouse, traveling, farm life, her big family, and all things Disney.