Verb: To become aware of; notice. To remember, to take care to remember
As a child, I told my mom that I’d mind her if she’d mind me. But you see, to mind, essentially means to notice and remember.
Then came age, and my strong will and confidence seemed to float away with adolescence, even adulthood, and I felt like this little guy in the picture. Falling through the cracks, engulfed by the gap. At times forgotten.
A few weeks ago I was asked to help someone with his graduate school assignment. In effect I needed to create a list of things I’d tell my younger self. Such lists are more for us now, than then, but, … I jotted, I brainstormed, I shied away from the real doozies and I had a generic brand of cheesy advice you could find on any local aisle of your neighborhood store staring at me in my face. And then I deleted it, but in the process something surfaced that I needed to mind, to notice. My list.
There’s a gap in what people tell you and what you feel. They’ll be a gap in what you want and what you get. They’ll be a gap – a delay of 10 seconds or 10 years – of what your plan looks like and what you thought it would look like. Moments of impact will be simple, but profound (to you at least) and underneath the specific rubble of circumstance and detail is a deeper truth to mind – to take notice. For example:
Gap Moment #1 The – Paradoxical – Bermuda -Triangle -of -Well -Meaning –People: When you’re 31 and single you may be told to give up, to surrender, stop trying and that’s when “he” will enter your life. Poof. Magic. Later that same day you will be told to put forth great faith and effort and an expected man will enter your world simply because you did not give up hope. You will essentially feel like the chance of finding the right guy, or the right job, or the right opportunity, is all up to you and all not up to you. Enter major gap and chasm.
Closing the Gap: We use such interesting magic myths to calm the unknown, to pacify what people perceive as despair. Well, you are not desperate, just fearful. Fears are destructive. Pay attention to what brings peace. You are planted in His plan, so go on and notice the abundance around you and just keep moving. If you want to surrender, surrender. If you want to try harder, try harder. Involve your God, and let him fill in your gap and all will be well. Seamless? No. Easy? No. Well? Yes.
Gap Moment #2 – But for a Moment: When you are doing nothing important, like getting ready for bed, you’ll have a moment. You’ll be turning off a light on your nightstand and notice the open translucent window. The lush trees will guard exposure and the moonlight will grant freedom. You will feel what it means, not think what it means. You’ll see your shadow against the closet door with the glow of the sky and you’ll look at this shadow as if it were another part of yourself – momentarily separate. Another entity full of all the possibility of what you want, have been, and dream, unfettered by the weighted constraints of reality. And then you’ll turn around and the moment will pass, and you’ll get in bed.
Closing the Gap: When you’re going about ordinary routines, you will have a moment of vague familiarity – peace and possibility that flash inside of you. Pay attention and remember these, for they are true.
Have faith in the gaps. Notice the mess, but know that light and knowledge are yours to seek amid the spaces and cracks. He minds you, remembers, and always takes notice.
What gaps have you traversed in your life? Have you come to see them as useful? What is ‘your list’ of things you need to remember?