When I was a junior in college I had the rich, and honestly unexpected, opportunity of traveling to Europe to visit two of my best friends that had decided to study abroad for a semester. It was one of those spring break trips that I still pinch myself when I think about taking. For several reasons it still seems like a dream…for starters it was the second flight I had ever taken – the first being a 45 minute one way flight from OKC to Dallas which I don’t know if you could really count as a flight….it’s basically an up down. Anyway, the second reason being that my parents let me go with just a group of my girlfriends…..and stay in random hostiles and not be able to call but like a handful of times. Major trust on my mom’s part because now that I’m a mom I would have totally freaked out!! The third reason was that my friend called one day and had found these crazy priced tickets online for college students and if you bought in 48 hours…the price tag was only $900 round trip!!! Can I get a witness?!! Amen! How it all worked out is still beyond me, but it was the trip of a lifetime and still almost 9 ½ years later connects my heart to those precious girlfriends that I was able to take that trip with.
So many amazing memories flood my mind when I get reminiscent about that trip. The overwhelming emotions we all had as we stepped out of the London Gatwick Airport into the streets of London. The powerful presence of those buildings etched with history. The great energy of Victoria Station, ambiance of romance in the museums, the cobbled streets, the clothes, the food, the richness of a culture that has stood for thousands of years that you are only just now seeing. It was awesome.
I remember funny moments too. Traveling to Scotland on a bus for 6 hours and based on my overwhelming good luck I got sick the ENTIRE time. Memorable to say the least. Getting to Scotland, finally feeling better but freezing our booties off and having to wear literally every piece of clothing from our suitcases to stay warm in our hostile that night. Great pics! The pink curtains and Scottish plaid decorations of that hostile were classic too, seriously considering doing our new baby room with that look in mind :). Lights out London is no joke. The refreshingly beautiful ride we took on the top of a double decker bus one evening through Piccadilly Circus. And then how could any of us forget the bus ride from the bus station to the airport in the middle of the night in the white wall rain with the bus driving literally going 100 mph and sitting next to a very hairy toed shoeless man eating curry food the entire ride. Memorable. Truly it’s a miracle we made it…never been more glad to get somewhere stationary in my life.
There are a million and one moments that aren’t included in that description because if I wrote everything it would look more like a chapter in a book than a blog post. It was the trip of a lifetime, and one of those trips that reminds your spirit and soul that you are alive and the world is really a beautiful place. But one of the happenings that stuck with me the most was a simple moment in our everyday during that trip as we took the rail, the sub system. As you waited the rail would come racing through the tunnel and make an abrupt stop, the doors would open and then all at once before you could take a step through the doors a man’s voice with a deeply British accent would come over the loud speaker a say, “Mind The Gap”. Without fail I would die laughing. Why you might ask? Because the “gap” he was talking about between the deck we were standing on and the rail doors was either totally massive or so slight the warning seemed ridiculous. It was so very obvious that you had to “mind the gap” and step across onto the rail. Obviously that was not the case and somewhere down the line someone forgot to mind and must have tumbled right into the gap. But it was, and still is as I catch myself chuckling, hilarious to me. We probably found a million reasons on that trip to reuse that phrase. I still do, and of course I always say it in my own version of a high pitched squeaky British accent voice seeing as “deep” really isn’t a part of my voice range. :)
Today I’d like to suggest that there are just as many gaps in our lives that if we aren’t careful to “mind the gaps” we could fall right in between the platform we’re standing on and the rail that has the capability to take us to our next “God sized promise”. Ladies, it’s no joke out there. Life is stinkin’ hard and if it isn’t, quite honestly you’re probably not breathing. I don’t mean everyone’s life has to be labor intensive…but what about emotionally, spiritually and mentally just tough.
I have a precious life with all sorts of beloved blessings….but if you think for a minute my life is worry or problem free you’re bubble is about to bust. It’s not. For starters my husband is a coach and our life in a literal sense is dictated by winning and losing, which has the potential to make us all sorts of emotionally high and low. In the last several years we’ve committed to becoming debt free….so of course there have been a number of things come up that have threatened that vision. At this point we’re taking risks that are challenging every part of our lives and God is asking us to step where there is little to no light to illuminate the path. We have times when we feel uninspired to start the day or share a thought. There have been several health issues we have had to overcome in the last year. We have relationship struggles that tear at our heart strings, we have worries, we have major doubts at times of God’s will and God’s purposes and if we don’t mind the gap we can throw off all sorts of Jesus and just fall right into the gap of despair…we can lose our vision. The temptation to recklessly throw off a life of faith and loose heart is all too present.
I’m reminded of the scripture in 2 Corinthians 10:5. I know I use it often when writing to you, but it really is so very crucial to living a gloriously full life as a daughter of the King. “We are DESTORYING speculations and EVERY lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking EVERY THOUGHT captive to the obedience to Christ.” That’s not going to come easy and if you read it close it is full of action verbs…that means it doesn’t conclude it is an on-going action. Even if you think, like I did about the gap between the platform and the rail, that there is no way we could miss seeing Jesus in every situation in our lives I think we make a huge mistake. I think if we live laughing at the warning of 2 Corinthians 10:5 we give way and opportunity to the enemy to blind us and shift our focus just enough to where all at once one day what was a small gap becomes a massive chasm between us and God and we fall right in. We still need to be reminded no matter how deep you get into your faith journey. No matter how spiritual you might have become – you have to have a warning. There is no arrival this side of Heaven. Someone, something, some circumstance, some perceived failure, some struggle, some message, some email, some unclear communication will try to create a gap between you and the Love of your Father if you leave it unsubmitted and uncaptivated. I’m not trying to create despair in your heart…..I’m trying to tell you the importance of 2 Corinthians is a for real thing. Taking someone or something captive takes strength you have to have a strategy to overcome the enemy. Keeping our focus intently on Jesus is our strategy to minding the gap.
Think of it like this…a deep loving Jesus voice coming over the intercom of your life every day and reminding you “Mind the gap, Cari”. Be looking for Jesus and take EVERY thought, project, situation, dream, job, relationship, emotion and role and make your heart obey His will. Mind the gap by pushing God’s love to come to the front of your marriage, of your job security, and of your financial mistakes. Mind the gap by pushing God’s love to come to the front of your uncertain future, of your health crisis, of your hopes and dreams. Mind the gap by pushing God’s love to the front of the lost affection you desire, your addictions, your hardened heart of sin, your fear, your worry, your regrets, your doubt, your church, your worship, your friends, your kids, your insecurity…..EVERYTHING.
Sweet sister it will take a determined faith to push God’s love to fill the gaps, but the overwhelming promise is that He died to take our place. He doesn’t care if your gap looks like a sliver or you’re staring down the Grand Canyon. Please don’t laugh at the warning signs…listen in, submit and receive what God is trying to tell you in Love. He is zealously anxious to mind the gaps of our lives, but it’s up to us to submit to His Love. I wish I could say that I was speaking this word from a mountain top of strength, and at times by God’s grace I have spoken to you out of Divine Strength, but if this is “real sister talk” today I’m just leaning in on God’s promise to fill in the gaps right alongside you. Today my prayers over you are from Psalm 28:7-9…
“The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusts in Him and I am helped; Therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him. The Lord is their strength, and He is a saving defense to His anointed. Save Thy people, and bless Thine inheritance; Be their shepherd also and carry them forever.” Psalm 28:7-9
And remember….Jesus is minding the gap (just imagine me saying it with a thick British accent :))