Editor’s Note: The following is from Sue Tell’s weekly blog at suetell.com.
Rachel celebrated her 30th milestone last July.
She connected with several of us (older, ah-hem) friends asking for a gift—our gift of words written on a card and delivered by snail mail. How old-fashion.
I loved it. Rachel is a wise woman. She hunts wisdom and listens well.
How would I respond?
What Scripture would I share?
One concept kept resurfacing—wiggle-room. Guarding space for the unexpected; planning for the unknown.
Spiritually speaking, wiggle room is a necessary ingredient of Sabbath-living*, my designated time for enjoying the friendship of God.
But there is more . . . three lessons I practice to preserve wiggle room (and my sanity).
- White-space on my calendar is as much of an event as the doctor appointment, or lunch with my friend. It is my designated time for rest and re-fueling. I keep a weekly white-space day. One of my goals for that day is to not need car keys. And Bill and I reserve a month every summer for time in at our small cabin in the mountains. We call it our Sanctuary.
- I don’t need to create ministry. God whispered those words to me almost 15 years ago. I love ministry to women! Creative ways to live that out abound. As God fleshed out his meaning for me, I learned that my most significant context is my normal world. Ministry surrounds me. Live inside my God-created box and ministry will happen.
- The need is not the call. I could do that, but should I? I’m learning that the word should is a yellow-flashing light. I need to slow down and look both ways. Look back to how God has been speaking; look forward to how this need might effect my now.
Two Scriptures I regularly pray over, John 1:12 and 1 John 3:1, both call us children. Children need protection. After Noah, his family, and all the creatures were safely inside the ark, Genesis 7:16 (NLT) records, “then the Lord closed the door.” It is frightening to think what might have transpired, if God had not closed the door on his children. God closing doors is a good thing.
I don’t always follow my own wisdom well, but referring back to and praying over these principles provide guidance as new opportunities come.
Last summer I invited Jo and Kathy to a course on living in the reality of applied grace (my name for the High Trust Leader certificate. Please ask.) Both intrigued, both drawn, both prayed.
Jo signed on the dotted line.
Kathy declined . . . “but please ask again.”
Both considered wiggle-room. Jo opted out of another small group to make space; Kathy is one semester away from finishing another online course. It was easy to affirm the decisions of both my friends. They were living the way I want to live, considering wiggle room
The Scripture I shared with Rachel was from 1 Thessalonians 1 in The Message, “God not only loves you very much but also has put his hand on you for something special . . . Something happened in you. . . . Your life is echoing the Master’s Word” (I changed it to the first person).
What helps you from becoming overwhelmed by opportunities? Do you have Scriptures that provide guidance for you?
*To learn more about my Sabbath-Living retreats and how I facilitate the opportunity for my friends to grow in enjoying the friendship of God, click here.