Create open space

In the spiritual life, the word discipline means ‘the effort to create some space in which God can act.’

Discipline means to prevent everything in your life from being filled up.

Discipline means that somewhere you're not occupied, and certainly not preoccupied.

In the spiritual life, discipline means to create that space in which something can happen that you hadn't planned or counted on.

~ Henri Nouwen

I need more margin. My old routine had margin built in.

Granted, it didn’t always stay where I put it. But it was there when I needed it, built in, ready for me to overflow into it when I had to.

open space

But my new routine is no routine. It’s temporarily okay for urgent living. But I don’t breathe deeply in urgency.

I need open space living instead. With margin for the urgent. Room to breathe.

Lord,
     You’re moving so quickly I can barely catch my breath, 
barely keep up.
     Create open space around me, in me, to absorb all You’re doing, to sit still and drink You in.  An
expected space to absorb all the unexpected things that are happening.
     You are good. Wise. Powerful. My open space is in your hands. Move me to it, in it.
     Let me rest in You as worship to You.
Amen.
 

“Be still and know that I am God.”

~ Psalm 46:10

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11 comments:

Jessica said...

I need open space living. To live. To survive.

Laura at By the Bushel said...

Oh yes, those 'margins' get filled up fast with trivial, if I don't keep them clean for God.
Thanks- have a super day-

Dianne said...

It is amazing how your post goes along with the devotional by Oswald Chambers that I included in my post--give Him room to work! Open spaces, YES! Thanks. Dianne

Deidra said...

Earlier today I took a quiz. It asked me how much I would be willing to pay for one extra hour of time in my day. I was stumped. But I do need this margin....the open space to let God do something new in me.

elizabeth said...

I am a person who needs wide margins in my life...lots of open space. I find it hard when life won't allow that, and have to ask God for great grace. I believe this "need" is the weakness that goes with the strength of being a person who has a tender heart and sensitive spirit.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lisa. I came across your blog a little while ago and have been quietly enjoying it very much. I often refer to "8 ways to stop worrying" as I struggle to find peace with our current situation. Anyway, today's entry really spoke to me too and I'm going to repeat your prayer. Thank you for the ways you encourage my faith walk. Melanie F.

denise said...

I totally identified with this post. I have a few things going on right now and kick against the goads whenever one more thing gets tacked on to the schedule. I need emotional margins more than physical margins and for sure spiritual margins more than emotional ones. Thanks for the reminder. Denise

Dorothy said...

Great post, Lisa! I am one who needs some pretty wide margins in her life and yet somehow lets things get written in them way too often. Thanks for encouraging me to reestablish those margins...again.

Lisa notes... said...

Deidra,
I keep thinking about the quiz you mentioned. How much would I pay for one extra hour a day? The offer appeals to me, but I know the answer is I’m supposed to be satisfied with the time God gives me. Contentment with time: always a struggle for me.

Melanie F.,
Welcome! Thanks for leaving your sweet comment. Saying a prayer for your peace right now…

Denise,
I can only imagine how many irons you have in the fire right now. Praying for the great work you’re about to embark on. And thanking God that we got to know you and your sweet family.

All,
Looks like many of us need our open space. May we recognize it as God gives it to us, and use it well for his glory.

Mary B said...

This is beautiful...thanks so much.

Melody said...

I often wonder if it's harder to create sacred space and time in today's world or was it just as hard for others way back when? I struggle with this. I sometimes feel like I'm wasting time by just being still but yet it's what God wants me to do. This was a great post for me tonight.

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