There are many things which contend for our attention each day; including family relationships, personal and professional commitments, and even ministry. It can be daunting trying to find ways to balance these responsibilities while finding time for our own individual calm. For this reason, I would like to highlight both the value of recognizing and identifying those spaces that inspire awe and reverence. In addition, it is important to share related biblical truths that we can rely on.
In my own life, I have found that not having or recognizing these spaces has a direct impact on my personal life and service to others. I believe it is essential to have spaces where we “come away” for a while. To be quite honest, we are not created to be in continuous motion; not in our movements or our minds.
In Mark 6:31 “A get away from it all” is amplified – Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. When you think of a sacred space, what comes to mind? What space or spaces do you imagine?
Many people believe it to be a place to meet with God, while others embrace it as a momentary pause to take some time to find meaningful contemplation. Sacred spaces are where we not only meet with the divine, but where we meet ourselves repeatedly–that place where YOU can meet YOU. This is where you discover the essence of who you really are; the beauty of you, the rediscovery of you.
Spending time in a “sacred space” can impact and nourish your life, your relationships, and your capacity to manifest your goals and desires. Time away “in” these spaces, calls us away from the “fleshly” routine–from the ordinary to a time of self-discovery and a contemplative time-out. They allow us to check in with ourselves, to take time to remove distractions. We check in with so many people during the day. How much more do we owe it to ourselves to be intentional about creating time to check in with ourselves?
Consider these reflections about sacred spaces:
“A Sacred Space can be time and space we set aside, or which spontaneously arises to experience a depth, richness, and sense of meaning that usually escapes us in fast-paced everyday life… when we are not as connected as we could be with our body, our intuition, good thinking, compassion, empathy and other emotions.” (Unknown)
“The calm within the storm is where peace lives and breathes. It is not within perfect circumstances or a charmed life… it is not conditional. Peace is a sacred space within, it is the temple of our internal landscape. We are free to visit it, whenever we seek sanctuary. Underneath the chaos of everyday living, peace is patiently awaiting our discovery…go within.”
― Jaida DeWalt
“Create a sacred space to learn more about your body and mind, go on a date with yourself and explore emotions, sensitivity, desires, dreams, and accept yourself as you are. By spending some time getting to know yourself better, you will know what you have to offer–and it will be easier to ask for what you want.” ― Nityananda Das
Motivational speaker and author Cindy Trimm noted, “The moment you were conceived, you were given permission to succeed.” I personally believe God has written a narrative for our lives. He wants us to be successful and secure in our identity and purpose so that we can recognize his thumbprint in every facet of our existence. He also wants us to discover truths about ourselves; including how we invite others into our spaces so that we can engage in honest and genuine self-acceptance.
We are in a global epidemic namely COVID 19. It has forever altered our lives as we know it. Many are searching for a sense of who they really are; while others are realizing the importance of good health, family, spirituality, re-defining success and failure. We are also learning to appreciate what really matters.
In a recent Get Noticed webinar with featured speaker Lola Klein, I recall her sharing about our impact in our communities. She reminded us that there are many people “on the side of the road” — those to whom we are called to minister. In my reflection of this, I thought, that’s a model of a sacred space. Where we meet people can be called a sacred space. Here we can find a place where our hearts can come into alignment with God’s plan, recognizing the abundant grace that he gives; realizing that we are called to be conduits of healing. It’s here that we often experience the divine and find balance. In these spaces, God supplies wisdom, guidance and direction to us as we delight to accomplish our assignments for him. Can we be used as conduits for healing and inspiration?
There must be a space or spaces which are deemed as sacred, not only in a spiritual sense, but sacred in a restoration, balance, and self-unveiling sense. We need spaces to breathe and to rejuvenate.
Positive sacred experiences might include spending time in nature, exercise, prayer or a sister circle. Other sacred space moments might include feeding birds on a park bench, playing or reading with a child, drawing, gardening, sitting with an elderly person, or serving at a local food bank. All these events can have a common thread where we can find significant moments to be refreshed and breathe again.
Exodus 3:5 speaks of a divine encounter. Moses was admonished to take his shoes off and maintain his distance. He was in a sacred space, God’s space. Here, he was invited to encounter holiness. In this space, he was to take off the common, the natural, to remove or exchange the physical for an encounter with the divine. Moses was being invited to take this opportunity to create space to be available. There is a distinct difference in being with God and having an encounter with God. Bryan Sutton writes, “Wherever God is–that space is made holy. It’s not only holy because we are there, it is made holy because God is there.”
Are we creating spaces so that we can encounter him and in turn invite others in? The Latin phrase Primum Cura Te Ipsum means: First heal thyself. Attend to thine own ills. In principle, this is saying, in order to give attention to others “on the side of the road,” we must be competent, capable healers. We must give attention to our own inner distractions, trauma and evolving journey of growth and needed growth.
“Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” (Philippians 2:4 ESV)
As time concludes, we realize more than ever that this is what we were created for and what we are called to do. We are to become more like our creator; to make ourselves available, as well as to make better places and spaces in the world. May we all have spontaneous interludes of prayer, peace, hope, self-discovery and glimpses of the divine in our “sacred spaces.” Remember, Our Lord’s divinity will never be hesitant to step into the chaos of our humanity.
“Those who look to him (Jesus) are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.” (Psalm 34:5)