By Rev. Ciela Ledbetter-Guckian
There is a small area of my house I call my work place. It is filled will materials and machines, projects and pieces. It is a very busy and full place, so crowded that I sometimes have trouble finding space to lay out a project. Cluttered or not, I get enjoyment from sewing. and jewelry making. and fixing something that is torn or broken in my work place. Granted, often I have to clear the clutter to accomplish the task at hand.
Last week, standing in this place of my creating, I was thinking about how crammed it is – filled to the brim. It occurred to me that it is a metaphor for our way of life in this culture and age; we cram our lives with so much collecting, working, doing and going, we really have no time, energy, desire or space for quietness and contemplation.
Over the course of my lifetime I have discovered that a quiet space is God’s work shop. Quietness and reflection are the spaces God uses to create growth, understanding and wisdom in our lives. It is here, when we are silent and listening, that we can finally hear the small, still voice of our creator.
It is in the quiet space he brings focus and attention to the attitudes and relationships in our lives that need to be modified and attended to. It is here, we find encouragement from God, and strength to deal with the inevitable sorrows and wounds every one of us encounters while living on this planet. It is here, we come to know the neversaydie love of God and his powerful actions on our behalf.
But here is the problem: it is difficult to make the quiet space. We have responsibilities, work, family, friends, projects; we have recreation, fellowship, events. And all of these are good and necessary. But in order to do these well, to keep balanced, to find peace, quiet space is essential.
This week, I intend to put away the things lying around my work space. Each day I’ll spend 20 minutes or a half hour putting away the clutter and throwing out the things I’ve collected but know I probably will never get around to using – they are just taking up space. Hopefully, by the end of the week I’ll have a work space conducive to the making of the beautiful and creative.
What if we did the same in our lives? What if we cleared away the clutter, the activities that are not all that helpful or healthy? What if we made an effort to take control of the craziness of constant doing and achieving? What if we choose to spend 20 minutes to a half hour a day in a quiet space, listening for God and letting him do his creative work in our hearts? Perhaps we will hear him say, “Be still and know that I am God.” (Ps 46:10)
Rev. Ciela Ledbetter-Guckian is a Chaplain of Hospice of the Miami Valley and a guest columnist.