5/4/20 — How to Flourish in the Gap

We’ve all been here. The moment in our lives where we have no choice but to wait. It seems like an eternity. It seems like a lifetime. We learn some lessons. We have some victories. But if we’re honest with ourselves, we hate to wait.

This is an incredibly hard space for us to be, especially for those of us who are leaders. Leaders are hard chargers. Those who can’t help but drive the ship forward. Most of us can’t wait to get out of the harbor. To see the open seas. To feel the breeze of “what could be” on our face.

In moments of pause, however, the ship stays in the harbor. And when we are in what I call “the gap,” how are we to maintain health? How are we to continue to grow? How are we to continue to flourish?

Here a 4 ways to flourish in the gap:

ONE: Embrace the tension of instability.

If we are honest with ourselves, what we desire most is stability. The stability of a roof over our head. The stability of a job. The stability of a weekly paycheck. It’s how we were created to live. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve lived with God in Stability. Then sin entered the world. Then Stability turned into stability. Sin breaks everything, especially our desire for security.

However, our calling is not to create stability East of the Garden. Our calling is to embrace the tensions of living in the wilderness. 1 Peter 1 and 2 remind us that for those of us who are in Christ, we live as exiles, as sojourners, wondering our way into the New Garden that Christ will bring with Him when He returns.

Part of being human, and fallen, is living with the forever tension of instability. Our stability is redeemed in Christ, and it will be complete one day. Until then, embrace the tension of instability.

TWO: Distract yourself with other problems to solve.

When you find yourself in the gap, whether unemployed, waiting on decisions from others, or whatever it might be, know that it is okay to distract yourself. It’s not okay to self-medicate in your distraction, but it is perfectly okay to shift your distractions to another problem to solve.

If your gap is currently unsolvable, lift your eyes to another problem. There are dozens of daily problems all around you for you to solve. Make a list, and then engage.

THREE: Keep the end goal right up front.

When you find yourself in the gap, it’s easy to forget why you are in the gap in the first place. You might be in the gap because of a decision you made, or maybe a decision someone else made, but it is important to keep the end goal close. In fact, keep it visible. Keep it right up front.

Write out what your end goal actually is. In other words, what’s on the other side of the gap? Keep that front and center in your “gap living.”

FOUR: Take daily steps out of the gap.

Finally, take daily steps toward the end goal. Every single day you can take small steps toward your goal, whatever your goal might be.

Maybe your goal is weight loss. Maybe your goal is a new job. Maybe your goal is self-employment. Maybe your goal is moving to a new city. Maybe your goal is to get out of debt. Whatever your goal is, the hardest part in achieving that goal is everything you do “in the gap.” The gap is the space between where you are now and where you hope to be next week, a month from now, one year from now.

Every single day you have an opportunity to take steps toward closing the gap. And as you take those daily steps, you will look up days from now, months from now, or a year from now, and see all of the progress you actually made.

Be encouraged, friend. The gap is only “a gap” for a reason, and a season. There is no gap too big that daily steps can’t one day fill.