“Time and space – time to be alone, space to move about – these may well become the great scarcities of tomorrow” Edwin Way Teale
At the start of Lent – a time of reflection, penitence and sacrifice – many people give things up.
I’m sure for some this may be nothing more than a glorified excuse for a diet – but some people take this very seriously indeed. I have a friend who has given up Facebook and the internet for Lent – which is a shame as he won’t be able to read this series!
But whatever we decide to give up – be that food, alcohol, the internet… there should be a ‘gap’ created.
The book I have chosen to read for Lent came about by Kindle ‘happen-stance’ [i.e. I pressed the wrong button!] – it’s a bit Americanised and a bit ‘Catholic’ [chortles from ex-work colleagues at this point!] You can find out more about it here Lent 2012
But already it has challenged me – not with the idea of giving something up [I’m not this time – in case you were wondering] – but rather with the notion of “making room” for something.
By giving something up – or changing our habits in some way during Lent – we can create a ‘space’ – a ‘gap’ – an opportunity – but for what? Or for whom?
Is it the space we create when we ‘budge up’ on the sofa to allow someone else to it down?
Or is it a space before God’s throne where we can kneel and repent?
Or is it going to be more like the ‘move along please’ we hear when we are squashed into an even smaller space on a bus [airport shuttle buses are great at this!] – where we just become condensed into an even smaller space to the point where we can hardly touch the ground and we are forcibly squashed against someone else.
Or are we just making a space to be quickly filled up again with more ‘stuff’?
Or can we create a space in our busy day – a ‘Selah’ moment – when we can breathe more slowly and deeply and just enjoy being alive?
Or are we actually creating a gap – a space – for someone – rather than something?
A space perhaps for God [if you believe in Him] to walk alongside us; teach us; heal us; and restore us.
Lent is often seen as a ‘negative’ thing – ‘oh I’ve got to give something up’ – this time I’m going to try to see it as a positive thing – a chance to make some space – a ‘gap’ – and see what – or more importantly – who – might come along to fill it.