Jayton, my youngest son, and I are together reading through a Lemony Snicket novel. Every once in a while between chapters, there is a quirky spot in the book titled “Not a Chapter”. I don’t know why the author has peppered the novel this way, but even though the reading is not an official chapter, it must be read or none of the other chapters will make any sense to us.
My soul-mate friend, Kelli, shared with me the other day a term she learned from Donald Miller’s Storyline workbook, a curriculum which teaches and encourages you in the story making/writing of your life. The term is “The Story Gap” which is “the space between where a character is and where a character wants to be.” “That is where you are!”, Kelli said, and she was dead on right. I’m in the story gap…..in a place between where I’ve been and where I’m going……in a waiting place…..in a place called “Not a Chapter”.
One of my favorite things about getting older is I’ve lived enough stories of my own I have “boxes” to put stuff in, you know, familiar places. One of my “boxes” is called “Waiting” or now I realize it could be called “Story Gaps”. This box of stories are really not chapters on their own, but they are essential because the main chapters in my life really don’t make any sense without these gaps. It is a box of prayers which later become real chapters made of the Lord’s answers. Without these phases that are not full chapters, my passions would also not make a bit of sense for surely this is where they have grown.
I’m in a story gap right now. I’ve left Pittsburg, Kansas, and it appears I’m on my way to Ft. Worth, Texas, after this transition time in Abilene, Texas. One chapter has ended, but it is not time for the new chapter to start. I’m anxious to get to the other side like you would be if you were walking a tight rope between buildings wanting the gap to be as small as possible, yet I am seeing a lot from this vantage point. I’m praying, listening, learning and all the while I’m feeling passions the Lord has placed in me swell. I’m trusting the Lord with all my might and being cleansed of relying on human securities. There is purpose, not emptiness, in this gap. While I don’t fully understand right now as my story is not finished, I know this gap, this “Not a Chapter”, must be lived or what is ahead won’t make as much sense, and I won’t grasp the fullness of the following chapters.
“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.”
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”