Creating Sacred Spaces

February 29, 2012 — 17 Comments

Photo Credit: Miles Sabin (Creative Commons)

I live a pretty busy life.

Between working part-time at a community college, providing graphic design and branding services in a freelance capacity, trying to grow Ignite, leading a mission trip to the Czech Republic and co-leading another one to Romania, developing resources to help students and adults grow closer to God, sitting on the board of a local ministry geared to high school students, mentoring young people, trying to find and equip volunteers for Ignite, raising money for my mission trips and to go on with Ignite full time, blogging, and all the regular living chores, like grocery shopping, cleaning, doing laundry and dishes and everything else that goes into taking care of my house, my days get pretty full.

In all my busyness and to-do lists and responsibilities, it’s easy to lose track of the Sacred.

To push aside times with God to do more stuff.
To fill moments of silence with more noise.
To see others for what they can help me accomplish, not for who they are.
To treat each day as a massive to-do list rather than a gift from God.

Every where we go, everything we do, every person we come in contact with carries a piece of the Divine.

Sometimes, we need to be reminded of that truth.

So this Lenten season, I’m taking a step back.
Clearing out my to-do list.
Focusing on what’s most important.

And creating space for the Sacred.

I’m turning off the radio in my car, and infusing my life with more silence.
I’m signing out of social media at 10 p.m., and signing into my time with God.
I’m finding that one place where I can go to meet with God, and protecting it from any other responsibility.
I’m handing off certain duties, and focusing only on what I’m called to do.

All so I can encounter God.

I need Sacred spaces.
And so do you.

We need those places and seasons and moments where our focus shifts from what we do to who we are. We need those minutes in our day when we are reminded of who God is. We need those seasons of silence to quiet ourselves and hear the voice of God. We need those places in our homes, neighborhoods, work places and schools where we can escape the demands of life, put aside our to-do lists and chores and responsibilities, and encounter God.

How are you creating space for the Sacred in your life?

Jason Vana

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Jason is an imaginative leader with a heart to ignite younger generations to impact the world for Christ. He currently lives in Monmouth, Illinois, and oversees Ignite Student Ministries - a dynamic ministry to ignite youth, young adults and university students to passionately pursue Christ and transform society in high schools, work places and universities around the world.
  • http://twitter.com/_ThomasMason Thomas Mason

    I need Sacred spaces in that all the other things I do, in my eyes at least, seem to be better than creating space for God and protecting that space from known and unknown “predators” which seek to maintain the distance between me and God. This is becoming more and more clear to me that I, too, need to make some tweaks and adjustments.

    This post solidifies what I need to do, Jason. Thanks for that push to create Sacred spaces.

    • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

      I’m the same way, Thomas. It’s very easy for me to confuse doing something for God with actually being with God. Those sacred spaces help me remember it’s not about what I do, but the relationship I have with Him. I’m glad this post could push you to create more sacred spaces in your life.

  • http://www.discipulus.us/ Moe

    Life is too loud! Too many voices trying to distract us and emerge us away from the bosom of the Father. I like to do the same with you. What we do every night is we shut off all “devices” and my wife, me, and the kids get in our bed and just talk, relax and sometimes share the Word of God and pray. I feel closer to God in those moments. Also, I’m the first to get up in the morning and that time is precious with God. 

    • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

      I was going to try and be all serious, but then you said bosom and I lost it. :D

      I love the way you are creating space not only in your own life, but the lives of your family as well. I’ve seen the younger generations are way too glued to technology – even playing on their phones while in the room with friends. Just the simple act of shutting everything down and spending that time together is solidifying in their lives that relationship is more important than technology.

  • http://www.eileenknowles.com/ Eileen

    I read a great little book about the need to recharge called Refuel by Doug Fields.  One of his suggestions was turning off the car radio too.  Even when we are alone, we have a tendency to fill the alone with more noise and so we really aren’t alone.  We need times of complete silence. 

    • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

      It has made a HUGE difference in my day to spend those 20 minutes in silence. The first few days are always tough, but now that I’ve done it for almost a week (I don’t work every day), I cherish that quiet time.

  • http://www.lifeofasteward.com Loren Pinilis

    I’ve found I have to find it in the morning before I get going with my day. And I’ve found I have to wake up early enough to where this feels relaxed and not like something I have to hurry through in order to tackle my day. It just has to be something that I make a habit. That’s the only way I’ve found that really works well for me in the long run.

    • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

      I’m the exact opposite – I have to make time at night. I’m not a morning person at all and, for some reason, I have always connected with God more, heard him clearer and understood his word more at night.

  • http://twitter.com/WebsterGehring Webster Gehring

    It’s all about that prayer labyrinth. 

    • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

      I need to stop by sometime and try out that prayer labyrinth of yours!

  • http://www.ramblingbarba.com Ken Hagerman

    Well said. I love the idea of creating “silence” because it gives God a chance to talk to us. How many times do I ask a question then don’t wait for the answer.

    • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

      I do that a lot myself. I’ll ask God a question, implore him to do something, but then I don’t remain silent long enough to hear what he might want to say. I’m learning those times of silence are vitally important.

  • Adam Hlávka

    That is so true, it is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life and forget about creating that space and time for God and be intentional in it! Great blog post!

    • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

      Thanks Adam! I’m glad you enjoyed it.
      We have to set up a time to chat in the next week or so! Miss you already bud.

  • http://www.livingngrace.com/blogs Luther Wesley

    And here I thought I was the only one that busyness caught up with.  I believe we all often mistake being busy with either being useful or holy…..and often times neither is true.

    Butter, when spread to thin, still leaves dry toast.

    • http://www.jasonvana.com Jason Vana

      I wish busyness didn’t catch up with me, but unfortunately, it does too often. 

      I like your analogy at the end there. That definitely is how I feel when I’m spread too thin.

  • http://danblackonleadership.com/ Dan Black

    This is such a needed thing every person/leader needs to remember, focusing on connecting with God. The past couple weeks I have been refocusing on reading my bible on a daily basis.  I have been guilty of putting it off for days/a week and have seen the negative impact, for me God is calling me to get in the word daily.