Image by Fr Antunes licensed by Creative Commons Generic Attribute 2.0
“In the spiritual like, the word ‘discipline’ means ‘the effort to create some space in which God can act.’ Discipline means to prevent everything in your life from being filled up. Discipline means that somewhere you’re not occupied, and certainly not preoccupied. In the spiritual life, discipline means to create that space in which something can happen that you hadn’t planned or counted on.” ~ Henri J. Nouwen
Oh, how much of my life is already filled up? How much is already planned and counted on? Too much. I spend countless hours planning, counting the own hairs on my head.
Do I know someone has already done that, formed me, planned the best me? I say “yes.” I live “no.”
I will slow down after… I finish… when I get there… once this changes… when this goes away… later. later. later.
The constant desire to want to be done, then be happy, creates the background feeling of anxiety. If you’ve ever found yourself doing the dishes as fast as possible, when you have no reason to be in a hurry (like I have), you know what I mean.
I don’t just create space: I feel the need to plan, quantify, organize and populate it. There is no room for a gift to be inserted into this. There is no gratitude, only weariness.
Creating space to breathe is enough.
Declutter internal and external space. Sacred space, all.
Clean, uncluttered lines in my home; clean, uncluttered soul.
Making room for sunlight and air in rooms. Clearing room for Sonlight and breath of the Spirit.
Thinking, thinking, thinking about this. And suddenly, I am jarred at my feet. Little eyes, this tiny soul that grew out of my skin and bones: this person shares my space.
What more motivation do I need to practice these things? Joy. Openness. Space. Thanksgiving.
Discipline means that somewhere you’re not occupied, and certainly not preoccupied. So, today, I created space: one bag of broken clutter, gone; one hour of time, given to Him; interruptions by a small voice and tug at my leg, not ignored. Picture books and smiles.
Memories. Space. Stretching. Growing. Breathe on me, breath of God. Now my turn: inhale. Now Him. Now me.
It is discipline to do this. Daily.