This morning, at 5:15 a.m., before I got my exercise or walked the dog, checked my email, or turned on my cell phone, I went into my darkened home office and sat in the quiet with God. Why in the dark? I didn’t want to be distracted by any of the “to do’s” or concerns my mind might gravitate towards. I wanted to hear from the one who loves me most before I got pulled into the needs of others around me. I longed to worship at Jesus’ feet, acknowledging him and his control of this busy world before I stepped into the fray of it myself. In the quiet I listened and I sang praise, before I poured out my heart’s concerns. Then, when I turned on the light to read a while in my Bible, my focus was on how God might speak to me. It was a wonderful way to start my day…and my week!
FAITH staff were stimulated by the recent Willow Creek Leadership Summit we attended together in July. One of the speakers was Juliet Funt who spoke to us on the importance of “whitespace” at work. Her definition of “whitespace” is “a strategic pause taken between activities.” At work, we need whitespace to help us improve mental flow and be more productive. I found Juliet’s talk to be especially informative, because I was also in the middle of reading a book by Christian author, Bonnie Gray – “Finding Spiritual Whitespace: Awakening Your Soul to Rest.”
Bonnie Gray discovered her own need for whitespace when her plans fell apart and she was left with more questions than answers. Bonnie describes spiritual whitespace as “soul grace”…a place where we can hear Jesus speaks more tenderly to our souls and brings us refreshment and faith – “right in the midst of our stress-frayed lives.”
Both Juliet Funt and Bonnie Gray describe our current world as crazy busy (as if we didn’t already know that). But, how often do we analyze the cost of our busy schedules? How does “busy” impact us spiritually, emotionally, physically and mentally? To reclaim whitespace in our lives (according to both Juliet and Bonnie), it must be purposefully designed and planned into our days. And, for me, spiritual whitespace is the most crucial. I need it to purposefully engage with God! It’s what helps me… “Set [my] mind on things above, not on earthly things” (Colossians 3:2). I know there will be days when I still get pulled into urgent things, but I am working to be intentional about designing whitespace into my life to enable me to be more engaged with God and others. – Judi Brandow, Communications Specialist