Space to Breathe

officeThe human soul needs space to breathe. Our souls are far more poetic than we like to believe. The poetry of our inner-most being simply expresses itself in a variety of expressions. One person may revel in the glory of a sunset or be drawn to the serenity of a lake. Another may be refreshed by examining the inner-workings of machinery or marveling over a system’s complexity. Each of us carry within ourselves the awe of humanity. We are refreshed most when we stand in awe of something greater than ourselves. For each of us, that awe comes a little differently. But one thing is certain: in order to breathe, we must have space.

Your capacity for awe is magnified or diminished based on the margin you are provided. We need this. We need space to think, to delight, to know. We need to be free to rejoice, to mourn, to rest, and to process. The more margin (space) I have, the more I can revel in what I see of God. Likewise, the less space I have, the less I can capacity I have to see Him and the more narrow my vision becomes. Awe is seeing, make space in your life or you might go blind.

Recently I was given an office.  It has quickly become one of my favorite spaces. It is just a room, but it is a room that affords me space. I’m not naturally an introvert, but I have become one. I need space… so do you. I find myself recharging best at a desk with a book and a notepad. Give me a few minutes of silence and the Bible and I’ll be a different person. This is the nature of  awe. When we take time to breathe and worship, we find ourselves. We see with clarity. We reveal who we are in light of the magnificent glory of the One who is Greater. And we are drawn to transform into something greater ourselves.

Each day I spend some time in this room. I revel in the glory of who God is at some point. This room affords me that necessary time that all people need for awe. I cannot express how grateful I am for this room.

How do you “awe?” Do you have a space? Do you need to make space?

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We All Get Germs

pickinguppecans

I have a four children, one of whom happens to be a three year old boy. He is sweet, loving, loaded with energy, and an all-around terror most of the time. Seriously, he is amazing.

Recently we were on a walk around our neighborhood. Just me and the boy, be-bopping along. I love these walks we take. He bops around throwing sticks and asking questions that don’t make since. Like this one:

“Daddy, if God is big, do buildings have legs?”

Yeah… um…  that’s my boy? Anyhow, so here we are on one of our famous walks when I look down at my boy’s face and see him chewing something.

“Buddy, what are you chewing on?”

“A straw.”

“Where did you get a straw?”

“Right there!” Jo-Bits points at the side of the road.

“Buddy, spit that out!”

“Why!”

“Because it’s gross, there could be germs on it.”

He spits it out with tears in his eyes, not realizing the danger of straws found on the side of the road.

You know what’s funny? He does this kind of thing all the time and gets sick less than my other kids. It’s crazy… we can take my other three to Walmart and they’ll get sick if we don’t sanitize EVERYTHING. The boy can pick up trash and gnaw on it and he will be fine.

This is the nature of things… we all get germs, some of us are over run and others just keep bopping along. We all are subject to a fallen world in which people get sick and death is eminent. We all do goofy things like my kids. Whether it is gnawing on a straw or sticking your thumb in your mouth. We all have our vices that get us into trouble. We are all feeble and weak. We all get sick, we all fail, we are all in need.

My oldest is occasionally overcome with a need to guard against all sorts of germs. She will go overboard on the sanitizer and cleansers. She’ll yell at her siblings when they’re bopping along with trash in their hands. She’ll become obsessed with protecting herself by avoiding all things unsanitary. Then she’ll get sick. You see, no matter how hard she tries, she gets sick still. She lives in a house with people… so illness happens. When the rest of the family is sick, she also is the sweetest child. She offers to make my coffee, tells me she’ll get breakfast for her siblings (so long as I get it out and prepare it for her to give to them… cause she can’t reach), and she tries her hardest to heal the broken world around her. In moments like these, she loves well. Everyone gets germs, that’s why we love well.

This is a perspective we need to recognize in the church. It is the equalizing truth that all of humanity is sinful and no one is better than another. Your choice to not pick up the straw has little weight on your frailty. When we recognize this, our work in the church becomes less about how to avoid getting germs (i.e. don’t pick up the straw/ sanitize everything) and more about how to heal the downtrodden and sick. We become less concerned about what not to do, and more about what we should pursue and how to love others. If we can wrap our minds around this simple truth (that we all get germs) we will find ourselves pursuing holiness and enjoying the walk with our father a lot more.