The trip up to Three Lakes, Wisconsin couldn’t have been more perfect. Easy flights up. I walked up to the rental car counter at Rhinelander Airport, and before I could say anything, the attendant said, “Are you Mrs. Worley?” I asked, “Am I your only customer today?” “No, there’s one other.” It had been a long time since I’d flown into a small airport.
I presented the message: “Seven Things Fatherless Girls Need” at the Psalm 68:5 Fatherless Summit at Honey Rock Camp. While I think my information inspired the summer camp leaders who attended, I received so much more.
There was one message, in particular, that I am still chewing on. It was given by retired Wheaton College Professor Emerita of Christian Formation and Ministry, Dr. Scottie May, who also happened to be my cabin suite mate. In her talk she spoke about the importance of creating “space” for the camp children to have an encounter with God. She gave practical ways to create that space. This may have been for the camp leaders to implement, but the idea of “creating space” was a repeat message.
I am in the middle of my first semester of doctoral studies at The King’s University and this semester we are focusing on Christian Spiritual Formation. One of the books we are reading is Strengthening the Soul of Your Leadership by Ruth Haley BartonShe talks about this same concept and shares about the importance of space or solitude as a key discipline for leaders to strengthen their soul. Barton says, “One of the reasons solitude is so challenging for leaders is that the activities and experiences associated with leadership can be very addicting. The idea that I can do something about this, that or the other thing feeds something in us that is voracious in its appetite.”
On Wednesday afternoon, we had free time to take a walk or tour the camp. I really wanted to create space by choosing one of these options but duty called. I chose to work on a television show. It was work that had to be done, but would carving out space have been the better choice?
God often speaks to me in patterns because I don’t always get it the first time. I see this as a pattern. I need to be intentional about creating space.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God!”
I know that “space” is what is missing in my morning quiet time. I worship, read the Bible and pray, but then I’m off to accomplish what’s on day’s list. Instead, it should look more like this: Worship, Read, Pray, Silence/Space. It’s generally in the stillness and solitude that God speaks.
How much “space” are you creating in your own life to hear from God? Perhaps you can join me in making it a priority to put away the agenda for a few minutes and just “be.”