Finding Our White Space
By Carolyn Dale Newell
Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1 NKJV
Rest the arm. Those were the doctor’s directions. Too much time on the computer, a fall, or maybe a combination of things had resulted in a painful muscle strain.
Telling a writer to lay off the computer is like telling a bird not to fly. God had called me to this, but now God spoke straight to my heart. Why should He heal my arm when I won’t take proper care of myself? Well, God, if You put it like that, I’ll have to give it a rest.
Why do we find it so difficult to rest? It sounds easy, right? Yet, we are programmed to go, go, go… like the Energizer bunny.
If our lives were books, there would be no white space. Can you imagine reading a book with print from the top of the page all the way to the bottom. It would look burdensome. The white space in text breaks it up making it look more appealing.
God gave us margin. He gave us a commandment, one out of ten, that prescribes rest.
But how do we run this race of faith and rest? The two words don’t even belong in a sentence together. They are complete opposites.
My arm is an example of what I need to do with my entire life. With the command for rest on the Sabbath, God wants us to have some white space in our lives.
Our busy lifestyles have become the weight we need to lay aside. No, it isn’t sinful, but it’s a hindrance. I’ve applied some new practices to my writing schedule. Take breaks. I refused to believe taking breaks could make me more productive, but I gave it a try. Pausing periodically created more productivity. After each break, I felt fresh when I returned to work.
But the writer of Hebrews says we should run with endurance. I am pretty sure that doesn’t include rest. However, the word is translated “patience” or “steadfastness” in other translations. Patience denotes a steady forward movement, the opposite of speeding hurriedly along our journey.
Our race is long, but it is a marathon. It isn’t running full steam ahead.
We have become enslaved to busy. Why not break the chains that hold us in bondage. The Sabbath is one day out of seven. It occupies about fourteen percent of our time. What can you do in fourteen minutes? Not your to-do list. Rest! Create some white space in your life.
I challenge you to take at least one break during your day (not on the job, of course).
Heavenly Father, Forgive us for rejecting Your gift of rest. Direct our steps as we seek to remove our cluttered schedules and find some white space. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
© 2019 by Carolyn Dale Newell. All rights reserved.
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Originally published Friday, 13 May 2022.