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Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Space - it is necessary!

Breathing Room:  The "space" we create whenever we don't fully occupy every iota of "space" in our lives with stuff!  This is as close to the definition as I could come to - something which I heard my pastor preach this last weekend. As I have returned from vacation, one thing really means a lot to me whenever I can enjoy these times away - they create some "breathing room" in my life.  As I have already shared in past blogs, the time away is really to refresh, renew, and regain what the tough schedule of work and family can take out of me.  In returning home though, I was met with a couple of tragic events right here in my immediate neighborhood.  I learned of the tragic taking of the life of my neighbor's 23-year old son and the sudden death of my other neighbor across the way.  As I heard of these events, the tragedy of a young man taking his own life and the tragic end of a "closet alcoholic's" life, it made me think about the importance of "breathing room" all over again.

God, listen to me shout, bend an ear to my prayer.  When I’m far from anywhere, down to my last gasp, I call out, “Guide me up High Rock Mountain!”  You’ve always given me breathing room, a place to get away from it all, a lifetime pass to your safe-house, an open invitation as your guest.  You’ve always taken me seriously, God, made me welcome among those who know and love you.  (Psalm 61:1-5 MSG)

I think there are times when we don't realize just how little "breathing room" we give ourselves.  We pack in emotional turmoil until it bubbles to the surface, almost volcanic in its capacity, until one day we just cannot take it anymore.  No space exists for anything else - especially not hope.  We fill every empty space in our lives with things which will distract and numb whatever once filled those spaces.  No space exists for the things which matter most - relationship, love, and security.  The danger in "filling" without taking a close look at what is "filling" the space is we often don't realize the destructiveness of what fills the space!

Here's the real tragedy in these two events - on the surface everything looked as it should be.  The young man was successful, doing well in school, top of his graduating class, good job, nice car, all the electronic devices young people thrive on.  The single man and his dog - nice home, all the toys a man could want - camper, nice truck, fishing boat, big screen TV.  On the surface, all looked well.  Deep inside - not so much!  

I hope you will hear the intent of my heart today - no one should be without some "breathing room" in their lives and there is no other place to find or create it than at the feet of Jesus!  All the rest will only provide a miserable substitute for that which he provides with his presence, power, and purpose fully occupying the space it is intended to occupy within our lives.  There is no "breathing room" like that which God provides when he enters into the "space" of our lives.  It almost seems contradictory - something enters space and actually gives us more space?  Yep, when his love and grace enter the "space" of our lives, the stuff which only paints a picture of security, happiness, and purpose begins to fall away - creating more space for the stuff which really does matter.  

As David says in this passage, God will always be the one to give us "breathing room".  He is a place to get away from it all.  In this, we should find comfort for our weary souls and healing for our wounded emotions.  We cannot live at the pace we keep without reaping the consequences of the unending demands.  We cannot fill every crevice of space in our daily routine and expect to "find time" for God.  He must be our priority - for when he is, all the "space" we need really seems to get set in order in our lives.  It seems contrary to practical knowledge - it is!  Give him more space and he will actually "create" space (breathing room) in our lives!

Remember the families of those I have mentioned here today.  They will need God's comfort in the healing process.  Most importantly, examine your own lives today.  Do you need some breathing room?  Are you living to the limits? Are you merely "fronting" an experience of happiness and contentment in life? In getting real, taking down the "fronts" and asking God to put a "right order" to the things in your life, you will find the "space" he gives will actually fulfill more than you ever imagined!  Just sayin!