The Beauty of Whitespace
After reading the comments from the last post, The Bloom of Becoming, I was struck with putting out a Faith Barista challenge.
It was apparent from the responses that we share a common desire to break away from results oriented thinking and simply enjoy love oriented living.
But, how can we be motivated to simply rest in becoming?
The article offers scientific evidence that taking down time is actually required for creativity and new thinking.
New studies show that creative revelations tend to come when the mind is engaged in an activity unrelated to the issue at hand; pressure is not conducive to recombining knowledge in new and different ways, the defining mark of creativity.
It was fascinating to learn that “putting pressure on ourselves to try and work harder, more intensely, or more quickly, may only slow down our ability to arrive at new insights.”
If this is true in the makeup of creativity in the arts, writing, and scientific invention, what would be the implications for spirituality and faith?
The necessity of whitespace isn’t just a 20th century art form. God has been calling us to the creative art of rest and renewal for generations.
“In repentance and rest you will be saved, In quietness and trust is your strength.” Isaiah 30:15
My Spiritual Whitespace
One Saturday a month, I leave the house by 7:30am in the morning. I pack my journal, pen, camera, and Bible into my backpack and head outside.
Depending on mood, I’ll go for a walk. Maybe I’ll sit on a bench or a spot on a trail. If it’s raining, I find that coffee houses early on the weekend are quiet.
There’s no goal other than breathing and enjoyment. It’s inevitable that when I place myself in quietness and beauty, my de-sensitized ears open up to God’s voice. My spirit is once again touched by His love and rest.
My absence at home is brief. Refreshed, I return to Hubby who is still in one piece with the kids. With a kiss welcome home, we spend the rest of Saturday together.
A Whitespace Invitation
It’s been a sanctuary having my Saturday morning timeout regularly scheduled on the calendar.
It’s a helpful reset button, but I must be careful to include a key ingredient, so that my unplugged time isn’t simply an exercise in external rest.
After all, we can physically unplug, but still remain emotionally unsettled, fixated on our shortcomings.
Jesus says in John 6:26-28:
“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.
The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
It’s compelling to note that the original Greek word for believe in this passage is pisteuo, which means “to place confidence in, to entrust oneself to [Jesus]“.
Inner whitespace of the heart is created when we place ourselves in God’s hands and trust that He will complete the work of renewal.
The more we spend time with Him, we learn to trust and become free to receive.
I’d like to invite you to take the Whitespace Challenge this weekend.
The Purpose: Practice enjoyment and being with God, as you are.
1. Do something that encourages you to be at rest, avoiding activities that are performance oriented or focused on meeting expectations.
2. Choose an activity that carries the element of quietness.
3. Enjoy it with a cup of coffee or a brew of tea.
(Well, #3 is encouraged, but not required.)
Each person’s whitespace looks different.
How do you create whitespace?
Do you want to hear a song that goes with this post on whitespace? Then, check out this Worship Smoothie: Is Your Heart Spoken For? Today's post is Part 6 in a series titled, "What's New With You?". Be sure to catch the entire series: Introduction: Your Best Days Are Ahead Of You Part 1: Never Too Late To Make Room For New Part 2: Faith Isn't Sci-Fi: Change Takes TIme Part 3: Sink or Swim, God's Love Won't Quit Part 4: A Faith Intervention Part 5: The Bloom of Becoming Would you join me and share what new things God is doing in your life? Please comment. It would be wonderful to be encouraged by sharing in your current faith walk. Your experience would weave fellowship into my spirit. If you enjoyed today's post, you may like reading my post on Simple Pleasures: Baby Steps To Recapturing a Life of Joy. SUBSCRIBE NOW to catch FaithBarista updates hot and fresh directly in your mailbox via email (click here) or RSS (click here) news reader.