Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer;
you shall cry, and he will say, ‘Here I am.’
If you take away the yoke from your midst,
the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,
if you pour yourself out for the hungry
and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
then shall your light rise in the darkness
and your gloom be as the noonday. Isaiah 58:9-10
In my past work experiences and missions trips, I’ve been blessed to visit London and have taken the subway (the ‘Tube’) to get around. It’s hard not to notice signs all over the place saying ‘Mind The Gap,’ referring to the space (or gap) between the platform and the subway car. I’ve never witnessed the result of not minding the gap, but I’m sure it probably involves tripping headlong into the car, injuring oneself, or others, or both. Perhaps the signs are paying untold benefits to passengers by preventing these injuries!
‘Mind the gap’ just might be helpful for us as we handle new generations, or those before. I’ve seen my parents sometimes shake their heads and say something like ‘what is this world coming to’ or ‘these are our future leaders?’ voicing their feelings and frustrations with generations ‘newer’ than their own. I have to smile when I catch myself thinking or saying the same thing!
There will always be new generations, thinking and doing things differently than before, and that is okay! This has been happening since humans were created, and we’re not going to stop it. Our white-knuckled grip on ‘how things have always been done’ only leads to being in conflict with later generations. It’s time for generations to ‘mind the gap’ and learn to treat each other well!
I know I’ve struggled with how my childrens’ generation say and do things, using differing terminology and sometimes way too many words. What I’m going to start doing now is change the way I behave when interacting with others, especially those of a different generation. This goes for newer and older generations! I’ve always had an interest in the views and perspectives of those from generations before, but it would be beneficial for me to do the same with newer generations. Study the passage for today and see if this isn’t true according to scripture.
If, like me, you’ve not ‘minded the gap’ with other generations, perhaps consider joining me in confessing our shortfall with them, repenting (or turning away), and then prepare to learn new things in new ways!
By Rich Obrecht