One of my guilty pleasures, that my mother-in-law regularly indulges me in, is reading magazines, especially whole living. While pouring over a recent article about how feng shui and decluttering can open up possibility rather than be a menial, arduous task, I began to think about the importance of decluttering the spirit, especially during this time of Lent.
If it is true that (as J. David Muyskens puts it)“the God who has become flesh is closer than your breath,” then why are we as human beings so chronically disconnected from God?
As I’ve been practicing meditation and Centering Prayer, I’ve been focusing on the image of clearing a space for God inside my body, heart, and mind. Specifically I gaze downward at my chest and envision the Holy Spirit filling that cavity inside me with new life. As I breath out, I release the cares of the world, my anxieties, and my fear. And then I repeat the process, because meditation is nothing without consistency and commitment and practice. I also repeat the process because I am a broken, imperfect person, but I long to be close to God, and therefore, I must carve out a space to be mindful that God’s presence is always with me, in order to receive God’s overflowing grace. In recent years, friends of mine have taken to adding rather than giving up something for Lent.
This practice of Centering Prayer, and of clearing a space for God inside of me, reminds me that both actions, giving and receiving, are the lifeblood of spirituality. I rid myself of needless things in order to create a new space, a new daily commitment to meet God where God is always waiting for me.