How do you make space for God in your life?
There are many answers to this question. I’d even say there are as many answers as there are people. We’re unique, we’re individuals, we don’t respond to life in the same ways. As much as I believe this, I also know that we human beings have very similar needs. One of those needs is to make space in our lives for soul connections.
For me, as a Christian, this means connection with God. For others the space will be identified differently. But somehow we all need to feed our souls.
One way, the primary way some might say, in my tradition is through worship and prayer. Sunday worship, for my Lutheran church. Unfortunately any look at our changing culture and the decline in many churches shows that this is not the primary soul food for many. I sometime hear people say the decline is because the people who aren’t in church aren’t interested in making space for God. I disagree. We need to think about traditional worship as maybe not the right space making activity. for many of our neighbors.
As I’ve thought about it, Sunday worship is not even my primary soul food. I find it helpful, sometimes moving, oftentimes emotional, occasionally inspirational, and gratifying. But it is no longer the primary source of food for my soul. Maybe that’s because I’m a pastor, and so when I am worshiping on Sunday, I’m actually leading worship. I’m preaching. I’m thinking about the lives of those present (and those absent). I’m wondering about the visitor and whether he or she feels welcome. I’m thinking about the message…will it be received? Is it being received? How was it received? I’ve got lots going through my head on Sunday morning. Basically, I’m working.
So what feeds my soul these days? How do I make space for God? Disconnecting from the world. Getting away from electronics…from screens, from music, emails-texts-and other notifications. I do this by running. I could more accurately say I stumble upon this through running.
When I first started running, I listened to music. I even had playlists for my iPhone, that matched my goal times of my first two marathons. But then something changed. One day I went for a run without the music (or podcast) and decided it was nice to be alone with myself (and the world around me).
Now I always run “disconnected.” Sometimes I run with other people and that is its own joy. But because of my schedule or my pace when going out for long runs with family members, most of my runs are done solo.
What do I think about? I can’t really say. Sometimes a sermon comes to me. Sometimes the solution to a problem arises. And sometimes I just enter this place of quiet in my brain. I’ve become appreciative of that quiet. This quiet is not an absence of anything but rather a communing with God in a way that fills my soul in a way that allows me to continue on this journey of life.
What about you? How do you make space for God? Or what feeds your soul?