Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Missing __ Changes Everything

  This is not right. While it has the exact same substance and content of the prayer that our Lord Jesus taught to his disciples, it is not the same thing. Not a single letter has been changed but one little absence changes the way we experience it. The spaces are missing. The Lord's Prayer is not the Lord's Prayer when we remove the space between the words. The missing __ changes everything.
  I think the same could be said of life. The spaces in life are often the difference between substance that makes sense and works as compared to the same substance that is too closely crammed together as to be helpful. We can be blessed by three deep and moving conversations in a day or week, but if they were to come one after the other, in succession with no time in between to process them, then the affect is different. Most people would resonate with being busy, but we define too busy as not having enough time. Think of the time in between like space. Life is lessened without the space in between. Some people call it margin. They have come to realize that margin in and around what we do allow for us to breathe, to reflect, to prepare, and to cherish. To live without these critical elements is not good for body or soul. I believe Jesus modeled this throughout his ministry and wants the same of us.
  This idea came up this week as I visited with Sister Chris at Blessed Trinity Shrine Retreat for spiritual direction. She loved hearing about our congregation's efforts to spend a few moments in silence during the Season of Lent. I shared with her that I had been trying it but was struggling some. Would you believe she told me to do less. Instead of 8-10 minutes of quiet, centering prayer, I should start with 2-3 minutes. She encouraged me to then return to it in small moments through the rest of the day, seeking to regain that word from God as the day went on. I offer this to you, as well.
  May the space you take in between the stuff of life be a place where you encounter the God who made and loves you. Peace, Scott

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