Standing in the Gap – Part 2 of 2

By Neal Stone

storm cell #9Image by whiteboy via Flickr

As I stood now looking into the gap I knew I had to make a decision. So I did. I stretched out my arms, leaned forward and fell into the gap. Some just let me fall while others reached out to try and catch me, but to no avail. Most just let me fall.

I fell into the fog. At first it was a relief but as I fell I was surrounded by storm clouds. I could feel the cold wind, the rain and lightning all around me. I fell for what seemed like a life time. I was scared, unsure, but somehow I knew I made the right decision. Even in all the fear and doubt and the turbulent storm, I still felt a since of freedom. Yes, freedom. As if I was really finally free for the first time in my life since standing in the gap.

I continued to fall for a long time. I could feel the storm tossing me around and the cold wind and rain would pelt me for what seemed forever. I was scared not sure if I was going to live or die. Was I going to get through this dark storm or parish?

Then I hit the bottom. As I lay there in pain I wondered what would come next? Now what am I going to do? I felt a sudden sense of anger as I realized that all those years wasted standing in the gap, I could have lived my life and found real meaning.

I sat there and cried. Not from the pain of the fall, but from the inward pain from the loss I felt. But it wasn't the loss of my faith or belief, it was the loss of what could have been. The life I could have lived and built. The things I could have done that I missed out on. Then there was the mental anguish of realizing what I really believed was just plain wrong and made no sense at all. I had been duped!

I lay there and cried bitter tears. I realized that there was more to life and there were other options. I knew now if I applied reason, logic and just followed my heart and actually thought for myself, things could change. Yes, use reason, think and decide for yourself. No more blind faith where I do or believe in things, just because I am told by someone or read it in an ancient book.

It wasn't about finding the meaning of life, but rather it was about making your life have meaning. As I lay there crying I felt a sudden warmth come over me. I sat up and opened my eyes. The fog around me started to clear. I was afraid at first, for no telling what I was going to see. Could I have made the wrong decision and condemned myself? What would I see when the fog cleared?

As the fog thinned and slowly lifted I found myself in a field. The sun was shining and I felt so warm and peaceful. Funny, never really felt that way before. I felt as if my head was clearing and the pain was slowly going away. I noticed I had some scares, but the wounds themselves seemed to be healing.

I got up and looked around. I noticed two roads. A narrow road that lead back up to the top of the cliff. It was a long difficult road. I could see a few people on the road and they were arguing over what the map said on how to travel the road. Many of the people on this road were wondering around not even going the same way and appeared to be confused as if not really sure what they were doing. Some sat there as if waiting for someone. Once in a while they would stand up and look, but then sit back down when they realized no one was coming, but they were happy to keep waiting expecting them to come any time now. But no one ever came.

I also saw a wide road. A very beautiful and peaceful road that lead to a great city close by. There were a lot of people on this road and most of them seemed real happy. There were a few injured ones, but they were being assisted by the others along their journey.

There were some injured people on the narrow road too. But they only got help if they agreed with the others who were offering them help. Otherwise, they left them there.

The people on the narrow road waved to me. “Come join us!” They said. “We will show you the truth and the way!” they said and then turned back to arguing over what the map said.

I waved them on and said “No thanks, you can't even agree amongst ourselves what the map says, what good are you going to do me?” They looked at me and said “Just have faith and believe and the way will be revealed!”. “How can I have faith when you can't even decide what to have faith in?” I said to them. They shot me a condescending look and said with a sneer “He is so lost, how sad!”. They turned back to their map and continued to argue about what it said.

I then heard a voice “Never mind them, they've been standing there for years arguing over that map.” I turned around and saw a man on the wide road. He was smiling and waving for me to join him. “You don't need a map, just follow the evidence and it will show you the way to go.” He said. “But then who needs a map anyway? After all, you are free to travel any direction you wish and I am sure you can find your own way on your journey.” he continued. We talked for a long time as we walked. He told me all about free thinking and deciding for myself the right path to go.

Life wasn't about someone's will for you. It wasn't about finding the meaning of life, but rather it was about making your life have meaning. Deciding for yourself what your life was going to be about and how you can still make a difference to others without any agenda. Just for the sole reason of doing the right thing to help someone else in their journey. It wasn't the end of the journey that mattered, it was the journey itself.

I walked with my new friend -- never fearing he was judging me or looking down on me, but rather accepted me as I am. We finally arrived at a great city. It was called Thinkapolist. Here people were free. Free to think for themselves and decide their path in life without fear or rebuke or judgment. No threats of eternal punishment or damnation. Just living life and making their way as best as they can.

Once in a while I would look up and see those high up on the cliffs looking down on me as if greatly disappointed in me and showing me a disapproving look. I just smiled and waved.

I felt so alive and renewed. I was able to look at my life and actually make positive changes to it. Recovering from past injuries because I was free to finally deal with them and not wait for the “Great Physician” that my gap guard friends always promised. No more calls to someone who always seemed oddly silent. I was finally able to heal and move forward on my own. To live in peace with no fear and to experience real joy rather than false hopes.

For the first time in my life, I was home. Home and free!

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