When The Walls Seem Too Close and God Too Far
As if the earth itself was rising up to meet the coming drops of water, the air was thick with the anticipation of being flattened back down. I opened the window and stretched my hand out to catch the imminent rain.
The horizon stretched as far as I could see with only sage brush dotting it until my eyes slammed into the mountains that looked like a painted backdrop.
Deep breaths brought peace as I saw God and the majesty of His creation in the emptiness of the land and the looming mountains. A sacred space for me. A place where I could stretch my arms out and touch the flatness of the earth and the awesomeness of God.
Some people find God in the city with its rolling motion that buzzes and hums. Others in the forest where trees hold hands and whisper secrets to their friends. I find it in the open spaces. It could be the top of a mountain or the grasses of the prairie. Where nothing catches the eye but the sun setting through the clouds.
I’ve been feeling claustrophobic lately. The constant activity of mothering tiny ones in a not-so-small, not-so-big city where we might only leave the house once a day because I can’t figure out how to manage my three four-years-old and under kids without a bit of panic. These walls are folding in, and I need some open spaces.
I put it off thinking I was being silly. I can find God anywhere, right? And yes, that’s right. But just as we have favorite colors, favorite songs, favorite foods, we have favorite ways to meet Him too. Favorite places to worship: our sacred spaces.
The temple veil was torn when Jesus died on the cross. This holiest place, the Holy of Holies, where only the holiest priest could meet with God once a year was opened up with Christ’s once for all sacrifice. The Holy Spirit came down indwelling the believer. The sacred space exploded into a million places as we hold ever so gently the Spirit within.
I can’t make it to the mountains right now. I can barely make it to the park. But I can find what I need where I am.
So, I’m giving in. No longer trying to push through and be strong when I am tired and weak. I’m finding snippets of openness where I can. There’s farms and horses just two minutes from where I sit. If I drive just a bit more, there’s a lake.
It’s ok for me to need to drive there, even if I can’t get out because I can’t figure out how to take a simple walk with my three ring circus. I can just get out of my four walls, open the windows to the car, and breathe. I can put on worship music or listen to the Word. I can accept that caring for my soul by entering my sacred spaces, even just driving by them for five minutes a day, will allow me to commune with God and heal my soul.
The needs of today push out the chance to get to that perfect sacred space, but I can find the essence of it and indulge. If I don’t push to enter the Holy of Holies with God, I am going to stay scared in this boat rocked by this storm missing that He is right there with me.
You may find your sacred on a busy street, a coffee shop, sitting under a tree, or staring up at the sky, but join me in insisting on finding it and talking to God while you’re there. Read His word. Listen.
We can lead no one to the One if we haven’t seen Him in awhile.