We’ve been discussing several habits and behaviors that will help us live abundantly in the new year this week. We’ve discussed intentional relaxation and ruthlessly eliminating hurry so far, and today I’d want to introduce you to a third discipline that I believe can help you become a more successful Jesus follower: leaving gaps in your life.
I don’t know about you, but if I have a noon meeting, I usually schedule my day so that I reach my location by 12:00, not 11:50 or 11:55. This, however, provides no room for traffic or any other unanticipated events that may arise. Then, if something happens that causes me to be even a few minutes late, I become agitated and late. This is why Christian monks engage in a spiritual practice known as statio, in which they arrive early to a commitment to be in the correct frame of mind and have more time to pray and prepare their hearts. In essence, when I advise you to leave gaps in your life, I’m recommending this behavior. Extra time in your schedule allows you to live unhurriedly and respond to the Holy Spirit’s promptings. When Jesus was on His way to heal the synagogue leader’s daughter in Matthew 9 and the woman with the issue of bleeding approached Him, He might have ignored her or dismissed her. He took the time to affirm her healing and offer her compassion because He wasn’t rushed; the same may be said for us.
Friend, the next time you have an appointment, arrive five to ten minutes early, sit in your car or take a little stroll, and just pray. Allow the Lord to work in and through you, during the time you’ve set apart, and pray for the person or individuals you’ll be meeting with. When you become interruptible, you become a great ambassador for Jesus who remains at peace even when things don’t go according to plan. So, leave voids in your life and watch as God fills them with incredible interactions that will help you grow closer to Him and others!