“Rest in the LORD…” (Ps 37:7)
Reviewing my personal journaling of the past year, I came upon a note on something organizing expert Lissanne Oliver talks about in Sorted!…
“White space.” It plays a highly important part in art, advertising, book pages, and physical areas like book shelves and desk and counter surfaces–and also within our mental boundaries. As Oliver pointed out about this last area: clogging up our minds with the past, or a too-cluttered present (or too much ambitious planning for tomorrow) stifles our forward movement, growth, and creativity. White space is important to our spiritual life as well.
Space to Sit
Sometimes we need to just sit. Or run, if that unclogs our minds better. The point is, when on overload of the brain, not to do more mind work, but less–as close to zero as possible for a little while.
Of course zero won’t really happen. We can’t think nothing unless we’re brain dead. And even those areas of our minds that get exhausted can’t otherwise stop forever. Vacuums fill up at the first opportunity. But minds–and emotions–need rest from demands.
Space to Refuel
What do you do when the creative well runs dry? Or the spiritual well? Sometimes I try pumping harder, to expose myself to stimuli that might spur me to more creative acts or spiritual thoughts. There’s a place for that. But there’s also a place for that white space, for a time of “mind rest” in which we put no demands on the creative and reasoning parts of our brains.
Our time with God needs “white space,” too: periods of communion with no petitions, no Bible studying, no devotional doing. And no simultaneous physical tasks on our part (the old I can have fellowship with God while I weed, iron, vacuum, or whatever). Just silent non-activity in His presence–and that’s all!
I realize what a boon that would be to me today. And it’s a great day for it. Yes, I have a lot of other journal reading and year assessing and aim setting “to do” that might be very beneficial. But it will work better with some white space around it.
So, for right now…white space.