Sermon - Mind The Gap
I spend a fair amount of time travelling on trains. Now I don’t know whether this is the case in other countries, but in the UK, as a train arrives at the platform or as you ready yourself to disembark from a train, you are often told to ‘mind the gap’. I’ve never actually seen anyone put their foot through the gap between train and platform, but if the train is a little further away, it does take a bit of care to safely navigate the gap, particularly if you have heavy bags or luggage with you.
On one of my more recent train journeys I was struck by what an interesting sentiment this is. ‘Mind the gap’ can be very easily applied to our lives. Think about it… when boarding a train you have to step from the safe, secure place that you are currently in to the place where you want, or perhaps need, to be, whilst navigating the perils of the gap between the two. Sound familiar?
Some people avoid travelling because something about it scares them. They stay very much in one place and never get to experience what the rest of the world has to offer. If they ever do convince themselves to attempt to get on that train, they might be so worried and over-careful that they will tighten up or freeze, and either have problems crossing the gap, or give up and go home without even attempting to cross it. Similarly, some people let their lives stand still…they settle for their current lifestyle, not because they are happy with it, but because they are scared of making that change. They might overanalyse things to the extent that they will never quite feel capable of taking that step, and if they do try, their lack of confidence in their ability to make the change will end up holding them back and causing them to fall short of where they want to get to.
Others are so keen to get to the next stage that they are forever racing off with their minds focused firmly on the future…and these people, sprinting onto the train whilst talking on their phone and not really having time to look where they are going, are perhaps more likely to end up tripping, or falling down that gap.
The ones who are most likely to reach their destination safely and with the minimum of drama are the ones who ensure that they patiently bridge the gap properly. They leave one foot firmly planted on the platform, whilst carefully placing the other onto the train, just as when thinking about where you want to go next in life you must take note of what point you are currently at and use it as a springboard to the next step, helping you to plan your path and know what it is that you are hoping to achieve.
If you have lots of heavy luggage, you might stay in this bridged position, with one foot on the platform and one on the train, whilst you pass your luggage onto the train. Likewise, if you have any ‘baggage’ that seems determined to stay with you whilst you try to make changes in your life, be careful not to fall into the trap of rushing onwards in the hope that it will sort itself out…because it is more likely to end up tripping you up or causing you problems. You might find that you need some time to deal with it, when you need to stay strong and continue to bridge the gap…but if you can do that, you will find in the long run that the journey will be much easier.
So when you are trying to get to a new place in life, perhaps you might like to see it as a train journey.
Where are you starting from?
Where do you want to get to?
And vitally important for arriving there safe and sound, ready to take advantage of the new place that you find yourself in – mind the gap! How are you going to bridge it?