We were late, as usual, to an event.
The only problem was, said event happened to be located across a bridge, and not just any bridge – a drawbridge which was open . . . Now, I know some of you have a picture of a Medieval castle with a moat running through your head right now, so I’ll let you have that moment . . .
Now, for reality. This drawbridge crosses the Hood Canal in Northwest Washington state. It’s a floating bridge which opens for military traffic and other water vessels. A wise person checks the handy website before heading across the bridge to check for scheduled openings.
We were not wise, so on the open bridge we sat, while late – in a line of traffic that would last an hour.
I got out of the car and noticed the section of bridge we were parked on. It was a series of steel grates with gaps through which we could see the water down below. The gaps were huge, so big your keys, cell phone or any other important thing you don’t want to drop into the Hood Canal would have slipped through with ease.
I’m not what you would call a “careful” person. So, as we walked the bridge, my husband asked me repeatedly if my keys and phone were secure. I’ll calm your fear – nothing fell through the cracks – that day.
But, I couldn’t shake how big those gaps were.
I started thinking about my own life, and the gaps within it. In between the healthy places, which gaps exist?
The gaps are the places your relationships – the most valuable thing in life – can fall through the cracks. What are your gaps?
Mine are big and gaping: Busyness, desire to be known and loved, pride and addiction to work, insecurity.
It would be so easy for my family, friends and those I lead to fall through the gaps in my life. And, to be honest, I feel a bit out of control of it. Like this bridge, the steel grates are already cast. It seems the structure has been made.
And, maybe it has. We all have personalities and tendencies, and gaps. But that doesn’t mean we cannot be aware, and even be re-made.
There are 2 things I’m practicing to mind my gaps in this season.
- Relationship check-ins. Just like my keys and phone were secure in my pocket on the bridge – or maybe even back at the car – I can check often for how secure my relationships are by investing in them. Spend time with the kids. Pick them over work at times. Go on dates with my rad husband. Put off schoolwork for one day to make a memory.I can’t check in alone, because I miss things all the time. I need my people to ask me how secure my relationships are, like my husband asking me if my phone and keys were secure on the bridge. Do you have people who can ask you those questions? Find them. Honor them. Give them a voice in your life to keep the things you love secure.
- Let Jesus fill in the gaps. That drawbridge was a strong structure, fit for its purpose of cars driving across it, but when walked on, it had some gaps. To be honest, I may be a strong person who seems fit for the purpose God has called me to, but as one gets closer to me, the gaps become really clear. I don’t want to be someone who seems great from afar, but loses people up close. So, I name my gaps and bring each one to Jesus – seeking His wisdom and leadership in filling each one.
Here’s what I have learned: God is a greater gap-filler than any of us will ever be. Jesus filled the greatest gap any of us will ever face when he gave his life to bring us close to himself.
For God in all his fullness was pleased to live in Christ, and through him God reconciled everything to himself. He made peace with everything in heaven and on earth by means of Christ’s blood on the cross. – Colossians 1:19-20 (NLT)
The gaps may be big, but God is bigger, and he holds the whole world in the palm of his hand. So, though we may feel uneasy on the bridge of our lives, God has made peace with everything in heaven and on earth . . . I think I’ll trust him.
Do you have some gaps that need filling?
We all do, so let’s remind each other often to secure what we can secure and to allow God to do his great work of reconciliation within us.