The Gift of Space

Is God lazy?

Perhaps this is an odd question to ask, but it was the one that rang in my mind as I sat at the table in the early morning comparing my schedule with the God recorded for himself in Genesis 1.

I was in the process of contemplating how to structure the short and long term forecast of my day and the next six months.  Somehow I had to find a way so that all the needed tasks would be completed and responsibilities would be fulfilled.  I could feel the pressure mounting as tension settled into my nerves.  Some days it seemed that the only way to get through was to take a deep breath to shore up the needed strength and then brace myself to push through any distractions and hindrances that might enter my path.

The outcome?  Sometimes the tasks would be accomplished, other times not.  But regardless of how the day ended, there were times I was not a nice person to be around as I had a frazzled mind, a short temper, a weary body, and a soul severely depleted of joy and peace.  I did not anticipate the beginning of a new day.  I dreaded it.

I didn’t want to live this way, but I had bought into the belief that if I am not busy and if every moment is not filled, I was lazy, wasting time, and burning daylight.

“How did you do it, Jesus?” I questioned as I skimmed through the book of Luke.  “How did you go through your days with a joyful heart, a peaceful mind, and a thankful spirit?  Without losing your temper and snapping at others?”  After asking the question, I sat quietly and waited.  Then God’s Spirit showed me that to find the answer, I had to go back to the beginning at Genesis 1.

I did not understand how creation related to scheduling my day, but my curiosity was pricked, so I turned to the beginning and began to read.  Within the first few verses, I began to notice a trend.

God did not cram his days full.  They were not jam-packed with countless activities.  Being God, he could have created the world in one moment.  Easily in one day.  But he didn’t.  He took six days.  On the first day, he made light and separated it from the darkness.  That’s it.  On the second day, he created the sky to separate the waters.  That’s it.  The third day was a little busier because he created the dry land and then added all the vegetation needed for life.

When I compared the account of creation with its outline of only one or two things planned for each day and then at my plan with so many activities scheduled, I couldn’t help but wonder…

“Is God lazy?”

If the schedule recorded in Genesis 1 had been anyone but God’s, I would not have had trouble answering that question with a resounding “Yes.”

But it wasn’t just anyone’s schedule.  It was God’s.  The all-powerful one.  The one who speaks and life erupts.  The one who chose to complete his creation in six days when he could have finished it in one moment.  He deliberately chose to not stuff and fill every corner of his day.

The result?  He had time to SEE that what he had done was good.  He had time to enjoy the fruit of the work he undertook.  He even had time to come up with creative names for what he made, calling the light “day,” the darkness “night,” and the separation of water “sky.”  Not only that, but it is also unlikely that he dreaded the commencement of a new day.  Instead, he looked forward to it with a sense of joyful anticipation.

I desired to have that same joyful anticipation and to be able to enjoy the work I undertook, maybe even appreciate its fruit and have a little bit of energy left to let my creative juices flow.

How could this happen?  Through a gift that God gave me.  The gift of space.  In my schedule.  In my day.  He showed me that limiting the events of my day didn’t indicate that I was lazy. Instead, it meant that I was walking in his footsteps.  The footsteps of the divine.  In cutting back, limiting, and not cramming every moment of my day, I would be able to transition from “doing life” to “living life.”  To the brim.  With joy.  With anticipation.  With peace.  With creativity.  With contentment.

And much of this became possible by accepting the gift God gave to me.

The gift of space.

As we step into the indefinite timeline of social distancing, we have had “space” mandatorily thrust upon us. While not without its challenges and difficulties, as we adjust to less full and busy days, we will be able to discover joy and peace with those close to us as we learn to navigate in this uncharted territory of mandatory space, and perhaps with time and in a roundabout way, come to see it as…

The gift of space.

 

For everything there is a season, a time for every matter under heaven. A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing. He (God) has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into the heart of man.

Ecclesiastes 3:1, 5, 11a.

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