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Finding Space for the Sacred

Finding Space for the Sacred
 

I fell like I’ve learned a lot from my mom over the years. More recently I have been learning from my her personal spiritual journey.

My mom is involved in a two-year training program where she needs to complete a project of what she has learned about spiritual formation. My mom, being a very creative person, chose not to write a paper but rather create a spiritual formation environment in her back yard. She is currently working on creating what she calls her “contemplative garden” – not just as an idea, but as a physical space set aside for spiritual renewal. She’s been hard at work in the woods on their property cultivating and building her garden. She plans to use the contemplative garden to highlight twelve key ideas from her spiritual formation program and set aside the space for reflection and meditation. She plans to incorporate multiple stations or places to sit with art/symbols that encourage reflection and contemplation.

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When I asked her about this intentional space, my mom replied, “Some people will gravitate to this kind of space for reflection and others will not.  It is helpful for someone wishing to incorporate a contemplative approach to their faith to find what works for them.  Some like the hushed stillness of a cathedral and others the hands-on practice of journaling.  God has made us all unique.  Finding what is the best way to worship and commune with God for you is an adventure worth seeking.”

What I love about this space is that it fits my mom’s creativity and interests perfectly. She loves to be outside. She loves to garden and work in the dirt. This space is awesome for my mom to have with God. It speaks to her and fits her personality. I love it!

Finding Space

As I think about my mom’s project, its begun to stir within me the desire to have my own “Space.” I have an office at work and an office at home. Both are designed and laid out thoughtfully, however, they are not the best spaces for personal contemplation. They remind me of all that needs done. They remind me of the people I need to talk to and the ministry I’d like to see in the future. They are not good spaces for contemplation and time with God.

I don’t have time to create a garden in my back yard, but I have decided I need to find my own contemplative space. So far I have tried several locations and am narrowing in the best space so that I can calm my mind, be freed from distraction, focus on God and contemplate who He is. It won’t be as elaborate as my mom’s but it will provide space to nurture the same soul needs.

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What about you? Do you have a “space” for contemplation? Do you have a safe place where you can go to commune with God without distractions? If not, I would encourage you to find out what works for you. A place in your house, office, coffee shop, library, garden and/or closet? Where is your space? Give yourself permission to explore, try different things, and find something that reflects the way God has uniquely wired you.

Meredith Dahl
Executive Directory at Cross Connection Ministries
Meredith is the Executive Director of Cross Connection Ministries in New Holland, PA. She has received a Bachelor of Science in Student Ministry and a Master of Arts in Ministry (Concentration in Student Ministry) from Lancaster Bible College. Meredith and her husband live in New Holland with their baby boy Liam and love living, working and volunteering in their community.
  1. deb03-26-13

    Meredith – Love this post! I think sacred space is so important. I know it doesn’t make any difference to God where I sit with Him but it makes a huge difference in my ability to be attentive. Thanks so much for highlighting this.

  2. Jeremiah Dowling03-26-13

    Meredith,

    Thank you for this reminder to continually find places where I can slip away and reflect on who God is!

    In Christ,
    Jeremiah