I don’t know if this ever happens to you, but sometimes the Holy Spirit seems to wake me up consistently at the same hour of the early morning to tell me something or answer something. This morning I heard and saw a path for church life, family life, community life that was titled in my mind ” Making space for God”. This was no doubt prompted by my bedtime reading of Jen Hatmakers book 7: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess. My friend Teri recommended this book to me as I was sharing with her some of the ways God was refining my ideas about money and the value of time. A phrase that I use to describe this season is that we have half the money but twice the time with my husband since he lost his job a month ago. This answers all of our prayers on so many levels… Prayers to live more simply, to be more present with God and each other, to stand in solidarity with the larger population of mankind who live on pennies a day,
This book demonstrates the way our excess can absolutely be eliminated if we ask ourselves some questions and put into practice the discipline of poverty or simplicity:
1. Do I have space for God in my daily life?
2. Do I stand in solidarity with those who live in poverty? How?
3.Am I willing to fast in the areas of my life that I use to fill my hunger for God (food, shopping, activities)?
4. Do the many unused items in my home that have to be cleaned, maintained, and stored keep me in bondage rather than bring joy and gratitude?
I am not asking these questions as much as God is asking them, pressing them, burning them into me. Our lovely little family of six has lived quite nicely and happily in a 900 square foot beach bungalow. One bathroom, one closet, three bedrooms. It is something that has presented itself as a challenge-yes- but mostly a gift as I consider the many ways it has been a boundary to how much we can consume. Even so, when we find we have too many items to fit comfortably in our home, off my daughters run around the neighborhood like Santa elves delivering lovely toys and clothing to the littler girls in my neighborhood.
But this question, this book I am reading, Hatmaker’s references to Shane Claiborne… All of this dialogue makes me acutely aware of my need to remember,daily, what God cares about… And how I can make space for that. How I remember is by writing, but I don’t always allow space for that.
May God give me a year of creating daily space for God’s direction, a year of eliminating distractions and pursuits, a year of listening to the quiet voice that invites me to live from my true self.