I recently sat down with with GRC’s Spiritual Director to talk about what making space for our spiritual life can look like and why this is important in our daily life. Becky stated that sometimes we “can get so busy with the doing that we neglect the being.” This is where creating Spiritual space can be vital to our spiritual well-being. While these steps are not exhaustive, Becky gave a few starting points to begin creating spiritual space:
Take into account your personality. Knowing your personality, whether you relax the most around a group of friends or when you are absolutely alone, can help you determine if spiritual space on your own or with a few close friends would be best for you. You may be outgoing and feel like you get easily distracted if you are not doing something with your hands or moving, or you may feel like you only truly listen to Him when you are absolutely still in His presence. Knowing key elements of your personality and needs in the moment can help you form the type of spiritual space that would be most effective for you. To discover your Meyer’s Brigg, follow this link:https://www.16personalities.com/free-personality-test.
2. Seek to know and understand how you best connect and engage with our Creator. Each of us have different ways that we find it easiest to connect and deeply engage with our Creator, so making space for our spiritual life will be most effective when we use the particular “spiritual pathway” that suits our individual personality. Taking a quiz like the Sacred Pathway survey based off of Gary Thomas’ book, Sacred Pathways can help us determine how we each relate best to the Creator. For example, one person may find they connect best with the creator when they are walking in nature while another may find that writing or drawing allows them to connect the best.
3. Explore what issues and themes you are wrestling with lately. What do you find yourself worrying about? What emotion do you find yourself feeling deeply inside - fear, sadness, anger (what is fueling the anger?), or shame? Or perhaps you just feel the busyness of life is crowding out your relationship with the Father and you want to make time with Him a priority before it becomes a bigger issue. Exploring the core reason why we feel the need for space in our spiritual lives can help us determine a focus for prayer and time with the Father.
4. Plan a time to get away and focus on a scripture passage based on the theme/issue you identified in #3. Think of a couple questions to ask yourself related to your current situation and the passage you chose. Talk with a trusted friend, mentor, or counselor to help come up with ideas of what to reflect on in your spiritual space, keeping in mind your personal Sacred Pathways and Meyer’s Brigg results.
5. Meet with a trusted friend, spouse, mentor, or spiritual director to talk over what you learned or discovered while taking time for spiritual space. Journal about the time afterwards to help solidify your discoveries and give yourself a record to look back on so you remember what you discovered and apply it to your life.
What about in our everyday lives? How can we continue to maintain the same mindset and the connection with our Creator? A spiritual discipline that Becky suggests is “Practicing the Presence.” The is a practice of strengthening our spiritual walk by making a point to have our attention on our Creator while we’re doing everyday tasks. Becky suggests that you ask yourself, “How attentive to the Father am I in the present moment?” Take moments when you are driving, riding, or walking to the next place, or doing household chores, to keep your mind on Him. You can read more about “Practicing the Presence” and many other practical ways to create spiritual space in Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun.
Additional Recommended Resources: What’s Your G*d Language? by Dr. Myra Perrine, Spiritual Disciplines Handbook by Adele Ahlberg Calhoun, Sacred Pathways by Gary Thomas