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Thursday, June 5, 2014

Space to Breathe #spiritualwhitespace

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Where I used to work, our director instructed us to build in ten percent of our work time for "background" tasks.   This included things like cleaning the labs, straightening the offices, and doing maintenance-type tasks.

When he said that, I am pretty sure that everyone in my department laughed.  When you work in an analytical lab, it's just not possible.  You can make a tentative schedule for the day, but a customer might walk through the door at any moment and he or she would become your highest priority.  (Customer service was high on our director's list, as it should be.)

As a result, that ten percent was almost always spent doing regular work, putting out fires, or playing catch-up.

Similarly, I can plan time with the Lord for, say, 2:00 each afternoon.  Then I get busy with folding laundry or doing paperwork or whatever, and 2:00 comes and goes.  Everyday work and unplanned tasks intrude on the time I'd allotted.

When I'm very busy, I don't always hear Him saying, "Come spend time with Me.  The laundry will still be there."

Sometimes I do hear Him but I put it off:  "Let me just finish folding this one load of clothes and I'll be there."

But when I really listen for His voice, I can hear Him calling me.  Of course He's right that the laundry isn't the highest priority.  Neither is paperwork or housecleaning.  I am getting better at responding immediately to His call, and it's been rewarding.  Letting go of my own will is an act of obedience, and every one of those acts helps reinforce the habit of obedience.  Besides, every morning I ask the Lord to help me prioritize, so it's foolish not to listen when He leads me to do something!

When I listen for the voice of the Lord, I find true rest.  In His timing, not mine.  He loves me as is ... whether I'm stressed or tired or (dare I say it?) cranky.  He loves me anyway.  What greater gift will we ever receive?

21 Days of Rest: Finding Spiritual Whitespace


  1. Thank you so much, Melissa, for visiting my site. I wanted to return the kindness.

    Listening to the Lord is so important, isn't it? I once wrote in one of my posts, "The Still Small Voice has no destination if there is no listening ear! It only costs us our time to listen but it costs us our quality of life not to listen!" We do lose that quality when we tune Him out, don't we? Ahem...voice of experience speaking! ;) Loved your post! Blessings to you!

  2. Hi Melissa! I think we must be twins or something. I get my head into something and just ignore anything else. I think it's really easy for me to just cruise through the day and do what I want. Not what God wants. And that's sad.

    Getting time to relax, refresh and renew in the day, even if it's five minutes, would mean so much to God and to me. I don't think he counts the minutes, I think he just likes to see me.

    Good thing he loves us when we're cranky, right??
    Nice to see you today :)

  3. i hate that i am the same way-
    my mind is always racing.. and then i will think i need to do this and that... while i am trying to have my time with HIM - it is like my mind is always in 100 ways...


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