Finding Time For Space In A Busy Life
I have spacial issues. For real. I’m not claustrophobic, but I just like to have space. Not tons, just room to breathe. I pretty much want a buffer seat on one side of me at all times. I get really frustrated on planes when people lean back on me… being 6’4” and all I don’t like my knees to get to know the back of their head that well. Quite often, my son will try to come slide in the bed with my wife and I and when he does, and I notice it, I gotta kick that dude to the curb. Just too crowded. Ya know what I mean? Sometimes I need some space and I just gotta do what I gotta do to create that space.
It’s amazing to me how much we try to pile into one day. Work days. Days off. Vacation days. Weekends. Whatever. We “pack it up, pack it in” before we ever begin. And we wonder why we’re so tired, so exhausted, and feel as if one more thing will literally break us… We live on edge and no one can mess up our plan otherwise our whole world will come crashing down. It’s not good, but we all do it. In fact, many people see it as a badge of honor and productivity, like if you can’t respond to “How’s it going?” with “I’m just SO busy…” it’s like you’re not a human, or at least a productive one.
However, when you look at Jesus’ life there is an interesting thing noted over and over and over again about Him. All the Gospel accounts talk about it, and the fact that they talk about it is pretty amazing in and of itself. Here’s one example. It’s in Luke 5. Jesus had just healed a guy. Luke tells us that His popularity began to grow like crazy. More people coming to hear Him teach. More people to be healed. and then, Luke 5:16 says, “He often withdrew to deserted places and prayed.” Hmmm… So at the peak of His popularity, with the most opportunity in front of Him, Jesus decided [often] to look at the crowds, the speaking requests, the people who needed help and said, “I need some space”.
When’s the last time you did that? When’s the last time that you postponed a project to tomorrow because you need some space? When’s the last time you took an hour with no tv, no music, no phone, no computer, and just spent that time quietly with the Lord? When’s the last time you allowed your mind, soul, and spirit to not be consumed with the next thing, but spent time alone with God and prayed?
We work everything into our schedule, except space.
I’m not writing this to try to get you to take 15 minutes a day as a “quiet time”. No. It’s bigger than that. It’s not about getting through the Bible in a year or checking off something else on your spiritual to-do list. Although those are all great things, this is about having the courage, the discipline and seeing the need to look at your calendar sometimes and say, “I need some space!”. Maybe telling your friends, “I love you, but I can’t hang out tonight because I need some space.” Maybe not taking on that extra project cause you know you need some space. Maybe missing your sorta-friend’s kid’s 7th birthday party cause you need some space.
You need moments to breathe so that life doesn’t suffocate you. Believe me, this is not coming from someone who’s lazy and likes to drift through life. I’m a lot like you, and I have to remind myself busy is not the goal. It never has been. It’s not a virtue. In fact, it might be a sign of poor leadership in your own life or ministry. Most of us, need some space. A little bit of time to get away and spend with God. Not to impress Him with our reading or entertain Him with our singing. But some unhurried time to just be with Him.
So I dare you. This week. Figure out when, and tell your calendar and everything that would try to fill that moment, “I need some space”.