Space for God in the everyday

Published 26th February 2024 by Imani McEwen

Psalm 46:10 “Be still and know that I am God”.

During Lent, traditionally I would give something up, but the last few years have involved me taking up something. This year I am making space to know God more in the everyday things.

It was a struggle to think about what to do for Lent. As the period drew closer, I was still thinking about what I might give up, but then it struck me that ‘lent’ in French means ‘slow’. There it was! For Lent this year, I was going to go slowly and have decided to take up the practice of making space during the day to reflect, be still and know God in the everyday things.

I was lucky enough to go on my first ever cruise last year and it taught me the value of being still and seeing God in the everyday. While on holiday, I encountered people who were willing to take time out of their everyday lives to make space for me and help me when I needed directions. While at sea, I marvelled at nature and the changing patterns of the weather, which went from incredibly hot and sunny, to rainy and windy and even a few rainbows, which reminded me that wherever I am in the world, I encounter God.

There was even a moment in Vietnam when we went to a theme park that turned out to have the nickname of ‘Heaven on Earth’ because of the climate and landscape.  The theme park at the top of a mountain, 1487 meters above sea level, and I was surprised to hear a familiar worship song, Israel Houghton’s ‘God you are good’,  being played by a live band. It reminded me of

Psalm 139:7-8, “Where can I go from your Spirit?   Where can I flee from your presence?  If I go up to the heavens, you are there.”

When I came back, I realised that it shouldn’t take a holiday for me to be still and make space to see God in the everyday things. When I am being busy setting my own agenda about when I encounter God, I wasn’t making time for God to encounter me. I have been reading Selina Stone’s ‘Tarry Awhile’ and she quotes Sarah Oakley as saying “…if we cease to set the agenda…we make space for God to be God…engaging on any such regular and repeated ‘waiting on the divine’ will involve great personal commitment…”. She goes on to say “In making space for God, we reciprocate what God has done by first making space for us within God’s own life”.  This was eye opening for me, I decided that Lent would be the perfect time to intentionally make space for what really matters. So far this has looked like intentionally carving out time in my day to connect with God more. I always start my day by reading the Word of the day, but now I take time to be still and think about it at points during the day when I pause, such as when showering, drinking a cup of tea or eating. On my way home from work, when walking to the tube, I spend some time enjoying the gradually longer hours of sunlight and the sunset.

I wonder – how will you make space for God this Lent?

Imani McEwen

Children & Youth Advisor

Diocese of Southwark

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