I came to the realization yesterday that giving God “open space” may mean physically, but it has to be something internally. I look back on my life and realize that many of my stories came because I gave God the time to do something. I broke out of my own time of worship to talk to someone, stopped for someone, or made a random detour errand to a store or coffee shop. However, I also realized that God loves to move in busy schedules too. He moves when I’m on the bus home from beach trying to be back before dark. He moves during group dinners celebrating birthdays and mundane skating practices.
I’ve always been a proponent of quitting things. Don’t get me wrong, I think dedication is important. I’m a figure skater for crying out loud. The problem isn’t being dedicated to something, it’s the number of different things we are trying to be completely dedicated to. Has it ever occurred to our American society that we changed the word priority and made up priorities? The plural version of that word originally didn’t exist, and it’s almost ironic that it does.
Merriam Webster Dictionary defines priority as, “Something given or meriting attention before competing alternatives.”
Yet, we have taken the competing alternatives and put them at the same level as the first thing, creating priorities.
So, when friends have come to me asking if they should quit soccer to pursue [insert activity here] my answer is almost always yes. I’m a proponent of quitting things because we were designed for priority, not priorities.
I think it’s when we start to sink into this idea that our lives seem to fall into place. I’m not saying you can’t play three sports, be involved in a lot, or have a wide friend circle, but we get lost when we don’t have a priority. There has to be something that will always come first in our lives.
What do you change your schedule for?
When God is that first in our life, even in the busyness he will come in. It’s inevitable. When he is your life, your life will respond.
Dorothy Day one said, “If you are rushed for time, sow time and you will reap time. Go to church and spend a quiet hour in prayer. You will have more time than ever and your work will get done. Sow time with the poor. Sit and listen to them, give them your time lavishly. You will reap time a hundredfold lavishly.”
What a realization it is for the American to realize they have control of their life. What a realization it is for the American to realize their time is theirs, and no one else is owed it.
I don’t like being busy. I like choosing to have physical space in my calendar and thought life, but I’ve also realized that in busy times, God still moves. Because in the busy days he is still my priority. In the back of my head I’m always conversing, always listening, and my heart has responded yes before he even gives me a step to take.
This is what open space is. I’m not perfect at it, I sometimes get lost in the calendar, but I’m learning to have open space be where my heart is 100% of the time, even if my calendar block is full for the day.