As a chaplain and pastor, I come in contact with people from many different generations. One thing they all have in common is the need to find a place in life where they feel centered, calm, and connected to God. Before having a job that introduced me to the realities of multiple generations, I would never have guessed that empty nesters and retirees have the same problem finding quiet time as teens, parents of young children, and those with busy careers. Families with school-age children, like my own, are constantly busy due to participation in school and extracurricular activities. But I have heard many retirees say, “I’m so busy now. I can’t believe I ever had time to work!”
No matter our age or stage of life, most of us yearn for sacred space and renewal. For me, writing creates a sacred space that offers internal peace no matter what is going on around me. Though I have a specific place in my own home where I can go to feel centered and calm, I take a journal with me wherever I go in order to have access to my sacred space at all times. I can find a sacred space in my journal wherever I happen to be—in the after-school pickup car line, waiting in a doctor’s office, at my daughter’s music lessons, or in my own office between appointments and pastoral care visits.
Last month, Pat discussed what constitutes a sacred space and how to find your own sacred space in an ordinary place. I encourage you to think about how writing and keeping a journal can enhance the time spent in your sacred space and how you can create a sacred space wherever you go.
Pat mentioned cultivating the “God Habit”—teaching your subconscious mind that when you’re in your sacred space, you’re putting everything else aside and allowing God to speak to you. Keeping a journal can help train your mind to honor your need for sacred space—a place where you can turn off life’s worries and wants for a time and be with God.
I encourage you to think about how writing and keeping a journal can enhance the time spent in your sacred space and how you can create a sacred space wherever you go.
First Thessalonians 5:17 urges us to “pray without ceasing.” I remember writing back to this verse with a great sense of frustration and failure. I wondered if Paul’s audience had lives that lent themselves to praying without ceasing. I could imagine women at long hours of grinding wheat or tending the family hearth, men out in the fields watching sheep or planting seeds. Compared to them, my life moves at warp speed and changes directions multiple times a day, even multiple times an hour. How do I incorporate first-century instruction into my twenty-first-century life? Finding my sacred place and cultivating a sense of that space wherever I go is the first step. As Pat wrote in her introduction last month, “It doesn’t take long before just being in your personal sacred space puts you into a prayerful state of mind. Your quality time of just ‘being’ with God happens automatically.”
Having a sacred space where you can be alone with God doesn’t mean you have to do the work of cultivating a sacred space alone. In fact, community support and friends who share your journey make being in your own sacred space all the more precious. We are the body of Christ! We each hold a distinct connection to God, yet we are connected with one another through Christ. For about a year, I gathered with a group of women to pray in silence. One of the participants called it “being alone together.” The effects of this powerful experience nourish me even to this day. Let MyQuietSpaces.org be your own version of “being alone together.”