We all have habits that pull us away from God. Mine is the habit of busyness. In juggling family, work, and self, I can easily fill every second of every day. Even the fun stuff I schedule can feel like something to be “fit” into the schedule, not delighted in and savored in the moment. I was particularly convicted of this reality by a speaker I heard at a leadership conference, Juliet Funt, who talked about the value of white space. She defines white space as the strategic pause taken between activities. White space is not meditation, letting the mind wander, or mindfulness. It is a simple, intentional break. And white space isn’t just for work – it is for the home too.
What struck me about her talk is I realized in my devotion to busyness, I am carving out a life that looks and is experienced in a particular way – a way that I am not sure I necessarily like. Two things brought this home to me recently. The first was watching the film About Time. The plotline was a bit farfetched: a man who can travel back in time and change parts of his life. After myriad adventures, what the time traveler eventually realizes (spoiler alert!) is that he does not need to travel anymore. Instead, he treats everyday like a gift to be savored and celebrated. He was carving out white space in his life.
The second thing that brought this home was the funeral of a beloved parishioner. In the eulogy, the family talked about all the life lessons they had learned from their mother, many of which were about living with joy and exuberance. As I sat listening to the eulogy, I realized that everyday I am filling up my children’s life full of lessons – and I want them to be the right ones.
So, taking a cue from the fictional to the very real, I decided to create a little white space this week. There are some lovely yellow wildflowers blooming on the drive to my children’s childcare facility. So yesterday, I pulled over, grabbed the phone, and took some pictures of beauty – the beauty of God’s creation in nature and in my children. It was a small victory, but as my children proclaimed, “That was fun!” I knew I had carved out a little holy space for all of us: space to say thank you to God for all of our gifts – creation, life, each other. I invite you today to find a moment of white space. I can’t wait to hear about what that white space brings!