There is a term in business that serves as a “how to” approach to problem solving and it focuses on the difference between a desired state and current state. In other words, this is the vision of where we want to be versus where we are. It is appropriately called a “Gap Analysis” and it defines and measures the gap between present reality and a desired future reality.
One might wonder, “What does a Gap Analysis have to do with being a Christian?” At face value, perhaps not much. If you view and contrast, however, the vision of humanity and life that Jesus aspires each of us to achieve in the Bible versus our reality as sinners struggling to behave Christ-like; amazingly, a Gap Analysis approach may be very apropos.
Part of the struggle to live as a Christian, walking in Jesus’s path, is being able to visualize and encapsulate our thoughts, actions and behaviors in a way that emulates the “rules” of God as Jesus lived. At the foundation of Christianity lie the “Ten Commandments”. Let’s begin by labeling them as the desired or future state. Aligning our lives with this desired state constitutes compliance and fulfills the requirements of Christianity, albeit a perfect existence, virtually impossible to achieve as we are imperfect by definition.
As the Golden Gate Bridge was created (constructed) in 1937, it served one monumental and macroscopic purpose, to bridge the gap between San Francisco and Marin County in California. Prior to its existence, traveling 4,200 ft over water to reach a destination (desired state) may have been considered impossible to achieve; much like living the perfect Christian life in accordance to the Bible.
And much like the Golden Gate Bridge transforms a perceived impossibility into reality, Christians can benefit from this example to effectively move toward the desired state (living in accordance to the Ten Commandments as defined in the Bible). This can be accomplished by adopting a perspective of maintaining focus on the end-goal or destination, and not becoming overwhelmed or preoccupied with other things, while progressing toward it.
We are many times distracted in life by seemingly monumental issues and goals, that when placed in proper perspective, are in reality, insignificant. Issues like technology, social norms, leisure, peer pressure, group-think, etc. which over time, unguarded, become false gods in and of themselves.
“The bridge that can effectively transform this perceived impossibility into reality for Christians, is realistically, a collective set of practices that work together to create the necessary synergy to overcome hurdles, face failure, recognize success and realize Christian principles. As the Golden Gate bridge is constructed of many materials, each serving a specific function, the Everyday Christian must likewise employ several approaches to yield the desired state.”
Integral to this end are Prayer, Reflection, Forgiveness, Humility, Kindness, Obedience, Respect, Discipline, Faith and above all, Love. As the Gospel of Thomas indicates, “the Kingdom of God is inside of you, and it is outside of you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realize that it is you who are the sons of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty, and it is you who are that poverty.”
A life of humble, authentic and sincere means can easily become a more significant presence and example of Christianity, than one of importance, recognition, fame and financial means. It is always intent that is paramount as opposed to method. What matters most is what dwells within your heart. Indeed, these are the “Living Years”. Be well.