The Planned Void
As we approach 10 months in the new house, and prepare for our first holiday season here, Janet and I have been thinking about what Christmas decorations will go where. Since we have a whole different home, we have no idea what we will do with the things that have had a place in the old house for years. In fact, this past week-end was spent hanging pictures and replacing batteries in smoke detectors – things that are just normal maintenance and have to be done to maintain the property. We still have a number of pictures and wall hangings that will ultimately need to be put somewhere, but we have identified several walls that seem a little bare right now.
Thankfully, we have been blessed to have a large number of windows and so wall space seems to be at something of a premium. When we have a place available, it doesn’t take long for us to consider all the options of what could go there. But late last week we encountered a problem with this method.
A designer we have known for more than 25 years paid us a visit and when I asked about open wall space, he promptly gave me a lecture on the “planned void.” This is a term that I have never heard of, but Peter told Janet and me that when decorating a home, a person’s eye yearns for a place to rest – and that means that there needs to be some planned space that is devoid of art or any distractions so that a person can “rest” between taking in different spaces in the various rooms. At first, I didn’t agree with him but as I was walking through the house this past week-end, I was quite surprised that I really enjoyed the blank walls between several of the various living spaces. In fact, it was awesome. That doesn’t mean that I want every wall vacant, but every once in a while, it is cathartic.
I got to thinking about all this and it seems to me that this is the same way that God wants us to deal with Him. We have all these distractions in our lives and God wants us to find some blank space, the “planned void” in our lives that we can devote to Him. In this way, God has our full attention and it is in these spaces that we can find true refreshment with the Lord. Most of the time we are too busy to want to slow down and spend time with God in the quiet times of our lives. In fact, most of us don’t even really like the quiet spaces of our lives – we pack as much life as we can into the spaces… So quiet time with God is even more important.
The verse for this evening is from the book of Hebrews and speaks to God’s desire for us to have rest. We are told, in Heb. 4:10-11, “for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.” My encouragement this evening is that God is waiting for you to slow down and spend some quiet time with Him. My prayer is that you will remove some of the clutter from your life and have times of “planned void” so that you can fully appreciate your time with the Father. Have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace…