Space to Breathe again

Andrea and I recently took a short trip up into Michigan. We needed some time away… time to reconnect… time to unwind from the busyness that tangles up our lives and our hearts.  It was refreshing… no, it was more than that… it was like breathing again.  Having time away, creating some space in our lives, it gave me time to catch my breath.  I think we get so busy and focused on getting things done and “doing life” that we sort of hold our breath.  You know… like when you’re concentrating on that golf shot you’re about to make — you hold your breath… or when you are trying to hold the camera perfectly steady so you can take the picture, you breathe in and…. hold it…. hold it…. almost got it…. hold it…. Pppffffhhhhh… exhale.  The pace of life (even when doing good things) can have that effect on us… and so this time away gave us space to breath again.

So… how are YOU doing?  Now that school is back in session and summer is winding down, are you carving out some space in your day?… your week?  your month?!  It is critical!  What’s stopping you? (pause)  Give it a try… carve out just a few minutes of quiet for you and God and see what happens.

Here are a couple of things that help me:

  • Just do it… now!  (Don’t wait for the perfect time.)
  • Take a walk around the building.  Or, if no time for that, take a walk down the hall.
  • Clear your mind of the clutter and immediately invite God to be part of this. “God, come and take my thoughts and my mind and my heart. Connect them back to you.” or “Father, what do you have for me today?” or “Father, what do you want to speak to me?“, etc.
  • I keep a journal. Not a diary! A journal. Diaries remind me of “to-do” lists or event schedules or meeting minutes. A journal is freedom! No editing, just dreaming and thinking and hoping and crying and asking and living. And, my favorite thing to capture are the thoughts and words that come to mind when God and I are talking. He’ll say something or remind me of something that I know needs to go in the journal.  (I keep a mini-composition notebook on me, maybe 3″x4″.)  It doesn’t have to be much, but capture some highs and lows. Capture your thoughts and the quiet whispers that will begin to subtly take shape through the fog of thought.
  • On my iPod I keep Movie Soundtracks. When driving to work I might ask God what he wants me to listen to, and often it is to simply put on background music and sit quietly to leave space for him to talk, give ideas, wrestle with an issue, etc.
  • Print off a quote or bible verse or blog entry or short article.  Read it and then give God space to talk to you about it.

Creating space in our lives brings Life. It is a critical way in which we guard our hearts. And, God longs to be part of it.

Enjoying the breath of fresh air,

Mark