Recently a friend was complaining about her computer. When she typed, allthelettersrantogetherlikethis. How frustrating! The problem was easily solved with the purchase of a new keyboard. But her dilemma got me thinking about how important space is. In fact, space might be more important than what it surrounds because we can’t make sense of it or enjoy it without the space.
Space in the form of margins makes a book or newspaper readable. Without the margins, we get lost in the type. Space in a landscape is crucial. When all the flowers overflow into each other, we miss the individual beauty of each plant. Space in the form of coffee breaks and lunch hour makes the busyness of the day bearable. Space between the seats of an airplane determines how comfortable the ride will be. Space between musical notes (called “rests”) enhances the glory of choral or orchestral arrangement. Space between comments in a conversation or debate allows the participants to think and organize their responses.
Making space in our frenetic, multi-tasking, social media-oriented lives is probably the most important space we can create. Learning to “hit the space bar” or to “push pause” regularly is life-giving and life-changing. C.S. Lewis has said, “The world is crowded with Him [God]. He walks everywhere incognito” (Letters to Malcolm, Chiefly on Prayer). However, we can learn to “find God in all things” (Ignatius of Loyola) if we choose to.
But first we must be convinced of the importance of space – and of emptiness, of wordlessness, of refraining, and of letting go. Let’s start noticing the importance of spaces of all kinds. And let’s begin praying for God to break into our focus like the sun breaks in through a bank of clouds.
How can it be that we can say our God is everywhere
yet hours pass, and we do not sing a single Alleluia?
Could it be that a minute shift of focus, of attention
will unveil a feast of the sacred within our every day?
(Gerrie L. Grimsley and Jane J. Young in Contemplative by Design)
image of sky by www freewhd.com; image of keyboard: bygeorgejournal.ca