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The Need for White Space: Three Ways to Create It

 

Busy makes us

 

I rearranged furniture last weekend to accommodate a large group coming to my house.

We moved in chairs for the extra bodies that would be in the room. But once the guests were gone and the chairs returned to their original rooms, I decided that I would leave the coffee table where I’d moved it, in the middle of the carpet in front of the couch. (I know, that seems the obvious place for the coffee table.)

Before the re-arrangement, the walls were lined with furniture in the effort to maintain a large clear path through the room. But after moving a couple of pieces of furniture and a fake tree (you know the kind you have for decoration?), I could see the wall under the windows. There was “white space.”

And it was beautiful.

Though the walking path through the room wasn’t as straightforward, the room seemed more peaceful, more spacious because I could see empty places–white space.

“White space” is a term normally used to refer to the space between two words of a text on a computer screen or the space between paragraphs.

Blogs need white space.

When I look at a blog that has long paragraphs or worse, it’s just one long paragraph, I tend to go to another blog. Do you? Something about all those jumbled words on a computer screen suffocate me. I want to tell the writer to take a breath.

Life is the same way. The busyness of life can suffocate us. We think we’ve got it arranged the best way possible for the maximum space, but our walls are lined with stuff. Our day is just one big never ending paragraph.

We need white space. Our souls need white space.

I think we often fight this need. Busier seems better or fuller. But busy doesn’t give us time to think, feel, pray, trust.

Busy makes us feel productive, but the gerbil on his exercise wheel feels productive too. Click To Tweet

Do you need white space in your life? Psalm 37:5-7 gives us three ways to find that white space in our souls.

“Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this; He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn and the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still and wait patiently for him. Do not fret. . . .”

(Psalm 37: 5-7).

 

1. Commit your way to the Lord.

Commit comes from a Hebrew word that means “to roll” or “turn”. Way actually means “path or journey”. So this sentence literally means to roll or turn your journey to the Lord.

2. Trust in him and he will do this.

Do can be translated from the Hebrew word as accomplish or complete. The verse simply reads, trust in him and he will accomplish or complete your life. How many of us are trying to accomplish things on our own?

3. Be still and wait patiently for him.

Sorry, no Hebrew words to change the meaning of be still and wait. 

A long weekend is coming up, the Memorial Day holiday. It’s a perfect time to find some white space–time to do nothing but BE. Maybe you’ll rearrange your furniture so that you can sit on your couch with whites space around you. Or maybe you’ll cancel one of your plans so you can simply be still. Or maybe you’ll roll some of your problems and worries into the hands of the only One who can accomplish what you need.

How will you make white space in your life?

With eternal purpose,

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2 thoughts on “The Need for White Space: Three Ways to Create It

  1. Thank you Andy! I definitely need white space and am headed to the garden to get it. I love your gerbil comparison. We need to step off the wheel and see if we’re headed toward God or just spinning in circles.

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