Beyond the horizon lies possibility.
There’s something so liberating about being in a wide, unrestricted space. How many of us love the feeling of being on a beach with the vast ocean stretching out in front of us and all of the possibilities which lie beyond the horizon? Somehow, as we gaze upon the open sea something opens up inside of us, bringing a deeper breath and a sense that all is well. And then we return home to “real life” and the spaciousness that we felt closes down again, forgotten.
I’ve been pondering space recently – vast, wide, open space. Not the type that’s full of stars, planets and galaxies, but the space within, the space between us, the space we inhabit. Sometimes we can be scared of having space in our lives. In spacious places we can feel vulnerable, exposed or lost. It’s often easier to fill the space with busyness, with someone or something else, rather than living with the space and letting it be. When we fill it with any of these things, we immediately lose the potential, the opportunity which that space offers us. Stepping into the spaces our lives offer us can be a way to greater fulfilment, contentment and joy.
To give some context…
I had a lovely, long morning with a friend today. We walked, talked, drank coffee and caught up on life. As a full-time teacher, my friend has felt an invitation for quite some time to cut back her hours at work and create space in her life to give to her passion for creativity. Recently she took the plunge and went part-time, but today she admitted that part of her feels pressure to create quickly, to produce her artwork as fast as possible in order to fill the financial space her drop in hours has created. But would these hastily produced pieces carry her beautiful essence, would they flow from a heart of rest, would they carry the depth of creativity that is truly hers? Space and trust are the birth place of creativity, and together we wondered what might grow out of a willingness to trust, to wait, to be in the space and allow a fuller, deeper and more vibrant creativity to be born, to breathe deeply and allow the space to birth something new and wonderful.
I myself have recently been confronted by space in my life. Returning to the UK after living in Canada for some years, I had expected to pick up long-term friendships where we left off. But people have changed or moved on, and I have changed, and those relationships are no longer available to me in the same way – there’s a hole where they used to be. It’s been a journey of grief and letting go, not clinging and grasping onto what was comfortable and known, not giving in to the temptation to avoid the space that has opened up, but rather seeing the space as a gift and living with expectancy for new life to emerge.
When space opens in our lives it comes with an invitation to still our hearts, take a deeper breath and discover peace. As we remain in the space, eventually a gracious acceptance dawns and brings with it new freedom. We realise that fresh hope has been birthed for the new that is to come, and we discover a genuine thankfulness for what was but is no longer. In the space that death and loss creates, life is resurrected in a fresh new way.
Entering the space in our lives, however it comes to us, is not easy. It takes courage, it takes grace and help from Holy Spirit. It takes a willingness to sit in discomfort and unfamiliarity, to die to what was without yet seeing the new life which is germinating in the darkness. It is a place where ultimately we can be restored, given new hope, where new dreams can begin to emerge and a deeper place of peace discovered. We are frequently being invited into these wide open spaces, and, like the ocean, they beckon us towards new and vibrant worlds beyond the horizon.