What Others Say

Just a note to thank you for your wonderful weekly columns in the Galveston Paper.
To open a newspaper and see references to God, Scriptures, Kindness, Peace, Loving one another is what our whole world needs now more than ever. -John D. Galveston, Texas

Monday, March 21, 2016

White Space

Life starts out fairly simple.  When my wife and I married we could, quite literally, pack all our possessions in the back seat of our car.  But along the way, we picked up clutter.  The closets and attic overflow. I rented a storage unit so she could get her car in the garage.   “Stuff” seems to multiply.  It fills every nook and cranny.  It is hard to throw it away.  Worn out baby shoes, broken toys and scribbled scraps of paper represent my life.

The calendar is the same.  Business, or “busy-ness,” claims every minute. Millions start the day with a swig of coffee while they maneuver onto the freeway munching a breakfast burrito.  Memos, phone calls, meetings and long hours on our feet are followed by a weary commute home to pick up kids for practice sessions.  No wonder we are exhausted. 

Christians are especially vulnerable. Richard Foster wrote, “We are trapped in a rat race, not just of acquiring money, but also of meeting family and business obligations. We pant through an endless series of appointments and duties. This problem is especially acute for those who want to do what is right. With frantic fidelity we respond to all calls to service, distressingly unable to distinguish the voice of Christ from that of human manipulators."

We need white space!

Look at Google’s homepage.  Google keeps it simple.  We need to learn how to live Google lives, with plenty of white space, space in our lives that gives us freedom.  We need deliverance from crammed calendars and cluttered closets. 

It takes discipline to create white space, room for flexibility and freedom, margins in which to breathe.  Jesus knew how to order life with “white space.”  He took time to listen to children, to help a desperate woman who risked touching his garment, to heal a paralytic passed over by the crowd.  He had time for people, and, when he died, his robe was his only possession.  He never punched a time clock.  He did not wear a watch. He was never rushed or in a hurry. 

It is entirely possible that, with our break neck race to “get somewhere” that we might end up “nowhere.”  Jesus said, “… you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.” (Luke 10:41-42). 

And again, ““For this reason I say to you, do not worry about your life, as to what you will eat; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothing. ... And do not seek what you will eat and what you will drink, and do not keep worrying. For all these things the nations of the world eagerly seek; but your Father knows that you need these things. But seek His kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” (Luke 12:22-30).


When we simplify our lives with fewer “things” and build “white space,” we discover life itself.

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