This week, we’ve been looking at some habits and behaviors to help us live abundantly in the new year. So far, we’ve talked about intentional rest and ruthlessly eliminating hurry, so today I want to give you a third practice that I believe will help you become a more peaceful Jesus-follower — leave gaps in your life.
I don’t know about you, but if I have a meeting at noon, I typically plan my day with just enough time to arrive at my destination by 12:00, not 11:50 or even 11:55. However, this leaves me no allowance for traffic or any other unforeseen circumstances I might encounter. Then if something happens that puts me even a few minutes behind schedule, I end up being stressed out and late. This is why there’s a spiritual practice called statio, whereby Christian monks will intentionally arrive early to a commitment in order to be in the right frame of mind and have extra time to pray and prepare their hearts. In essence, it is this practice that I’m advocating when I say to leave gaps in your life. Extra time in your schedule ensures that you can live unhurried and open to the promptings of the Holy Spirit. When Jesus was on His way to heal the synagogue leader’s daughter in Matthew 9 and was approached by the woman with the issue of bleeding, He could have ignored her or just left her unacknowledged. However, because He wasn’t rushed, He took the time to affirm her healing and show her compassion, and the same can be true of us.
Friend, the next time you have someplace to be, I encourage you to arrive five to ten minutes early, sit in your car or go for a brief walk, and just pray. Open yourself up to what the Lord wants to do in and through you in the time you’ve set aside, and lift up the person or people you are meeting with. When you become interruptible, you are transformed into a powerful ambassador for Jesus who remains at peace even when things don’t go as planned. So leave gaps in your life and watch as God fills them with amazing encounters that help you grow closer to Him and to others!