Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap is a familiar phrase in London’s train stations.  It is a warning not to trip or fall in that space between the train and the platform. The word gap, in this instance represents the unknown and the invitation is to be aware, with harm prevention in mind.  Today I would like to explore the idea of the gap with the intention of understanding it and growing from it.

As I reflected on the Gap I became aware that it represented the space between something that was moving and something stationary.  The gap provided a cushion between the two objects which allowed the moving train not to cause injury to the platform or visa versa. Without the gap the tension and the friction between these two would have caused damage to both the train and the platform.

Seasons also illustrate the idea of the Gap.  For most people in colder climates, winter represents to some degree, the absence of life and growth. In autumn the falling leaves pantomime little deaths to self on our journey of life with Christ. We are ready for rest and to  be blanketed as the snow blankets the earth.  In the deep recesses of our heart we just want to withdraw and rest and be still.  Winter beckons us not as an enemy of life but as a preserver of life.  Like the caterpillars cocoon, in the deep stillness of winter, transformation is taking place.  Like the gap, it cushions the activity and tensions of autumn’s relinquishment of life and the impetuous intensity of springs demand to take hold of life. Winter creates opportunity for us to pay attention to the stillness and the silence within and without. It is a time of tending the soul and strengthening deep relationships. It is a time when activity is lessened and life is renewed.

I don’t like the cold. It steals my breath, burns my lungs and chills me to the bone.  I have often said I don’t like winter but that is changing.  I now see the cold, snowy, Canadian Winter as God’s wisdom and provision for me to hunker down and pay attention to the areas that I neglect because more temperate temperatures invite activity.  On those long, dark winter nights, there is nothing like; picking up a book that has long beckoned me to discover it’s treasures or to take a leisurely moment, to play backgammon with my husband or to gaze out the window, at the splendor of creation and say thank-you to the Father, for the reminder that because of Jesus that I am whiter than the snow, to gaze into the early sunset and marvel at the unspeakable night sky that is willing to bless me every waking day and the moments in these days when I reflect on past seasons and can honestly say, “I hate the cold but I love winter.”

Mind the Gap.  It is not the absence of anything but the presence of something profoundly meaningful.

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