Life in LADA land

Living Philippians 1:6 with type 1.5 diabetes

Mind the gap

At our staff meeting today, Pastor Rich shared an illustration about missions that another Pastor used at our denomination’s General Assembly a few weeks ago.  He told about someone who had been in London and saw the “Mind the Gap” signs all over the Underground stations and had no idea what they meant. He finally asked someone and they explained that it was a simple reminder to watch out as you step onto the train to “mind the gap” between the platform and the train.  He then went on to speak about how very often in evangelism our problem is not the method or opportunity to share our faith, but that there is a gap between our heart’s desire to share the gospel and our actually doing it.  As I have thought about that today (and I’m sure that this illustration relating to missions is true of me, unfortunately – I have good intentions about evangelism but I fear my heart is not fully engaged in it), I realized that this little phrase may apply to other areas of my life.

There is a big gap between my goal to maintain a healthy control of my blood sugar and some idealized level of control that is far more strict.  I’m learning to let go of that “ideal” because the cost (not the financial cost, but the cost of maintaining tight control of my blood sugar physically – living too close to the edge, especially of going low) is too high.  But it’s hard.  My mind knows it’s the right thing to do, but my heart isn’t in it.

There is also a gap between my desire to be self-sufficient about diabetes and my need to be able to talk with others about it.  In some ways, I would like for no one to ever know I’m dealing with this disease.  On the other hand, I have come to realize that I need to talk with people who “get it” and can help me see things more clearly.   I’m especially needy when my blood sugar is extremely high, or too low.  I can’t move on because I feel crummy.  So I look for someone to commiserate with. To some extent, I guess that’s the nature of being high or low – I’m not really fully in control of my feelings and am just desperate to have the low or high resolve so that I can get on with things. And there are times when I really do want someone to know I’m struggling, in case I get to a point where I can’t help myself (which, thank God has not happened yet).    I’m pretty sure this disease is not one you can do alone, nor should you. Come to think of it, I can’t think of any disease that anyone should deal with alone.  I don’t particularly like being needy, so this gap is a big one for me.  I don’t like admitting I can’t cope all by myself.  But I am SO thankful for those people around me who want to care for me and who invest all kinds of time in me. I wouldn’t trade those friendships for any level of self-sufficiency!  The diabetes online community (DOC) is helpful, but I really need my friends.

Then there’s the gap between knowing that my diet is not all it should be, or even what I want it to be, and what it is.  Why is it so hard to resist foods that I know will mess up my blood sugar?  I guess it is because of a different kind of gap – a time gap.  The results of eating something unwise aren’t immediate. The results will come hours later, when I have forgotten how good it tasted.  It’s  like I need the ice cream container to be rigged to give me an electric jolt to remind me to Mind the Gap!

Another gap that I should be minding is the one between the knowledge that I need to pray – regularly, widely, deeply – and my actual habit of praying.  No excuses, just a heart that is not responding to God’s push to do what I know I need to.

All of these things come down to a heart that is sold out to do the right thing, whether it’s diabetes related or spiritual.  I want my heart to be completely sold out to Christ.  Strangely enough, having a heart and mind that is really fully engaged in dealing with diabetes will help me to do the same for Christ – I know when I feel better, I am far more able to live a more obedient and Christ-centered life than when I am feeling lousy.  As it turns out, I have a magnet on my frig of that very sign in the London Underground – Mind the Gap.  A perfect reminder of these gaps that exist in my life, and my need to mind them.

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