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Thursday, September 5, 2013

Mind the Gap

Relevant Ministry Blog Schedule:
Tuesday - "About Spiritual Health in Life and Ministry"

Thursday - "About Relevant Women"

by Pam Roth
A couple of weeks ago, I was reminded of a something that happened while I was in London with my daughter.  I was a rookie to the Underground rail system; but my daughter had traveled to other cities where she had used subways and train systems to get around, so she was the one in charge of navigating us through the web of the Underground when we were out sightseeing.    

One day, we were out on an adventure…standing in the Underground waiting on a train to come.  It was extremely crowded on the platform that day, so my daughter said, “We are going to need to move quickly, if we are going to get on this train.”  Everyone could see the lights of the train coming down the track, so they began pushing toward the edge of the platform.  The train stopped, the doors opened, and the automated message came on, mind the gap.  The crowd began to pour out as those of use waiting on the platform began to work our way toward the doors of the train.  My daughter had made it onto the train with the rush of people.  I was the next person to get on the train, when all of sudden, this man came out of nowhere – jumped in front of me and caused me to be pushed back into the crowd.  Within that moment of hesitation, everything changed.  When I looked up across the gap between the platform and the train, I saw the doors of the train closing.  There I was, standing on the platform; while my daughter was on the train.

As the doors began to close, my daughter realized that I was not on the train with her; but it was too late.  There was no way for her to work her way through the crowd and out the doors before they would close, and I had missed my opportunity to get on the train.  Pressing in to the large glass window panes of the train car, my daughter could see the distress on my face.  When I saw her, I cried out, ANDREA, as I stood frozen on that platform.

The train slowly began to move down the track, and as I followed it on the platform, I could see my daughter trying to communicate to me.  Of course, I couldn’t hear her, but I finally figured out what she was saying, “Get on the next train.”  “I’ll wait for you at the next stop.”

Such a simple solution…why couldn’t I have figured that out?  The truth is I was overtaken by fear.  Fear that I was going to separated from my daughter and I didn’t know how we would reconnect.  Fear that I was now alone in a country far from home.  And, fear – that without her – I could not navigate my way through the Underground system.  Fear of the unknown was powerful that day and it paralyzed me.

Today, we laugh when we tell this story but several years ago, it wasn’t so funny.  My daughter loves to tell people that she can still see the look of fear that I had on my face.  She describes it, “As a mother who just watched her daughter be loaded up on a train to go to a refugee camp, separated forever.”  And, you know what?  She’s not too far off with that description.  That pretty much sums up how I felt that day – separated from someone I love, alone and scared.

So, let me ask you a few questions… “Are you minding the gap or is the gap between the way things seem to be and reality tripping you up?”  “Has someone or something caused you to hesitate in taking the next step?”  Or, “Are you struggling with the fear of the unknown?”

May I offer a few helpful suggestions?
 

  • Be mindful of your surroundings – through prayer and observation 
  • Stand on a firm foundation – by getting in step with God
  • Get the facts – don’t operate merely on the way things seem to be
  • Don’t hesitate to move out when you know it is the right thing to do – even if someone tries to cut you off on your path 
  • Keep fear in check – it can paralyze you
Click to post your comment.

For more about Relevant Women - RelevantMinistry.org/RelevantWomen


The purpose of Relevant Women:
Relevant Women exists to train women to minister relevantly, to discover and grow in God’s call in their lives and to serve in their churches as godly leaders.
 

RW accomplishes this by:
•Teaching life changing truth
•Building significant relationships
•Practicing spiritual disciplines
•Defining our personal stories
•Developing our personal ministry



At Relevant Ministry, our vision is to equip leaders to minister relevantly in churches that will be healthy and thriving.

Our mission, to fulfill this vision, is training future leaders - building healthy ministries - and serving on the Gulf Coast. 



9 comments:

  1. Awesome post Pam and so relevant to were I am in some areas of my life right now. Thanks.

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    1. Thank you for your comment. You are in my prayers as God continues to give you discernment and direction in every area of your life. Peace be with you.

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  2. WOW! Thank you for sharing that terrifying story! I was right there with you in your thinking, not Andreas. Even though I knew you were not lost forever, I was in much anticipation to hear how you worked it out. My take away from this is we don't know the ending to our stories and that is ok. Even when we have a glimpse of the end of a chapter, we still may have a fear holding us back. We can not let fear dictate our lives. Thank you for writing this!

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    1. Thank you, Heather, for sharing how the article spoke to you. Fear can be very debilitating and often keeps us from making good judgement calls when it comes to decision making. I like what you said, "We can not let fear dictate our lives." Fear and faith are not able to dwell in the same space. What would be beneficial to overcoming fear?

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  3. When we walk by faith, our feeling of fear is replaced by a feeling of freedom! Broken chains!

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    1. Heather...thank you for sharing one of the benefits of overcoming fear. This is so essential to our Christian walk. The victory is not in what I have done; but, in Christ alone.

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  4. Whew! I needed this article and the preceding dialogue! Thank you Pam & Heather for speaking truth over me today!! Know it was God led and it has encouraged me :)
    Love to you both!!
    Great and timely article Pam!

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    1. Thank you, Cyndi. Godly confirmation in our walk helps to build up our faith. The more we walk in faith, the less we fear.

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  5. I like how even with all the panic going through your mind. And it was almost impossible to hear.. you still had direction. Get on the next train Ill meet you there. Sometimes even though we dont realize it at the time God leaves us a direction. Or a plan B. Sometimes its hard to figure out.. But its still there.

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