It was a fairly simple comment embedded in the middle of my Pastor’s sermon last weekend, but it keeps nagging at me.
Speaking of lessons learned from a week of prayer and fasting at church, Todd said, “we are learning that if we create space for God, he will fill it. Our task is making space for him.” Most of us live crowded lives that travel at breakneck speed. Into those lives, we need to create space for our souls, space for God.
I have long taught that God is more eager to speak to us than we are to listen. But something about Todd’s comment takes me to a new level. Meeting with God is more about showing up and less about all the things I do when I get there. It is not about what I do to manage my “quiet time” rituals, but what I do to quiet the noise inside of me in order to listen.
Intellectually, this is an easy discussion. However, integrity means admitting that this is not an intellectual challenge. I recognize that this is a call to trust God’s pursuit of me more deeply than ever. It means releasing any internal pressure to “fill the space” and pay more attention to simply making the space.
You see, for most of my Christian training I have been taught methods for having a “Quiet Time,” for meeting with God, for studying Scripture, for prayer, etc. I have found a number of those methods to be radically significant. In fact, I have endeavored to teach others many of the tools and approaches that have been meaningful to me. However, I am not the manager of an appointment with the King of the Universe. By definition, he is the initiator and I am the responder. It is his agenda that matters. It is his voice that I need to hear.
OK, so are all the things I have done over the years wrong? No. Should they be scrapped? No. But just maybe, the greatest work I need to do is to make space. Maybe my energy needs to be focused less on the things I am going to do in my “quiet time” and more on the radical task of being quiet in his presence.
If I make space for him, HE will know how to fill it.