“Mind the gap!” Those three words were something we heard thousands of times during the six years we lived in Hong Kong. As you entered and exited subway trains a woman’s voice reminded you to mind the gap, the space between the train floor and the station floor. Not doing so meant you could catch your foot, twist your ankle or otherwise injure yourself. Hong Kong is a former British colony hence the use of the word ‘mind’ in the phrase and the reason you will see similar signs in subway stations in England.
Yesterday in his sermon our pastor talked about a mind the gap sign seen in a London subway station, and remarked that during the pandemic we have all had to mind the gap in order to stay safe. We have needed to maintain a two-meter gap between ourselves and other people.
Just like you can injure yourself if you don’t mind the gap in the subway station, you can get sick if you don’t mind the gap during COVID-19. We are having to think about relationships in new ways as we keep a physical distance from people. How can we still show care and empathy and maintain personal connections while ‘minding the gap?‘
Gaps, like the ones in the Hong Kong subway and during a pandemic, can be scary but we know with thought and care and mindfulness we can handle them.
It occurred to me that we are all constantly ‘minding the gap’ in our lives. There is the gap between what we expected our lives to be and how they turned out. There is the gap between what we know we should be doing in terms of things like our physical fitness or financial management and what we are currently doing. There is the gap between having a dream and actually achieving it. Rather than being fearful or anxious about these gaps we can embrace them and see them as opportunities to learn and grow.