You gave me room when I was in distress...You have put gladness in my heart...I will lie down and sleep in peace. (Psalm 4)
Can you tell me a time when someone has "invaded" your space (physically or emotionally)? How did you respond?
As teenagers we celebrated those rituals of passage as a time of growth — braces removed, going into high school, getting our driver's license, getting a part time job to provide our gas money, going to the prom, planning for what was after high school. However, through all of those movements of change it was probably not uncommon for you and I to take offense when our parents tried to "get in our space" and tell us what we should and should not do. How many of you can remember pleading or even yelling at your parents to "leave me alone and give me some space?" Funny thing though, as adults we still have those moments when people are "into our space" giving us advice and we may feel like making the same demanding plea or scream — "Give me some space!" But what are we to do with our "space?" Will we allow God to step into that space to be there to listen to our words? Will we allow ourselves to listen to God's words?
The psalmist reminds us that God offers us our space to "figure some things out," make adjustments in our lives, to grieve a loss, or simply to "ponder." It is in that space that we are given the chance to actively ponder what will be our next steps. As well, it is a time to ask ourselves what it is that God is showing us in the midst of that space. Some people gain insight in that space from resting in the assuring peace of God's presence and love. Some people gain insight from reading the scriptures. Some will gain insight from just "being still" and letting God be God in the midst of prayer. Others experience a special space when they listen or sing songs during a worship service. Still others will find the need to step out of that space and actively work on where it is that God is leading us. And kids? Well, they need their space as well. They may, however, not comprehend their own "invasion" into your space at their age.
During our time of transition here at Spring Creek, we all need to find "our space." We need to find ways to "experiment" with ways to find that space. We need this time to discern where it is that God is leading us now and into the future. We need to spend time in silence. We need time to reflect on the scriptures. We need time to (re)create spaces to actively listen to God's voice. We need to take the time to welcome all within our space so that we are practicing extravagant hospitality because our "tag line" is — "No matter who you are or where you are in life's journey, you are welcomed here."
During our transition time, my hope is that whatever space we are creating, people will look at it as a time to express the gladness in their hearts and finding the peace which God always offers. This will only happen, however, if people are willing to claim that space. That means attendance, financial support, serving, and participation are needed. It means having a "welcoming" heart and soul. It also means being reconciled and being a reconciler.
Perhaps as we approach this Lenten Season it is the right time to open up "your space" and let God enter. Perhaps it is time to find the best way for God to lead you to those next steps.
Let us model what it means to find "God" in our space — individually and corporately.
UPCOMING SERVICES AND SERMON TOPICS
Worship is at 10:30 Sunday morning unless otherwise noted.
01/28/18 — Wild Goose Chase: Then and Now — Matthew 5:38-48 (NRSV)
"The price of our vitality is the sum of all our fears." –David Whyte
Batterson, Mark. Wild Goose Chase: Reclaim the Adventure of Pursuing God (p. 143). The Crown Publishing Group. Kindle Edition.