Filling Up Space

Today is the day I’m supposed to write this column. I have been sitting here, staring at this screen, trying to think of something witty or wise to say to you. And I’ve got nothing.

Nothing, I tell you.

The well has run dry. Not that it was ever that abundant in the first place, but I can usually come up with a little trickle of something, if I think about it long and hard.

Today, nothing but dust.

I seriously thought about asking my dear editor to leave my column space blank. For doodling purposes. You can never have enough doodling space, in my opinion.

I briefly considered plagiarism. Would anyone really notice if I started out with, “Call me Ishmael,” or perhaps, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times”?

But no. Somehow, I need to fill up this space with original thought.

Did you ever notice how we do that with our lives? We think we need to fill up every blank space, every little moment with stuff. It doesn’t even have to be valuable stuff. But for some reason, we are uncomfortable with empty space.

We carry our cell phones and our laptops with us everywhere. We turn on the television the moment we wake up, and leave it on until we leave the house or go to bed. In the car, we listen to music, or talk radio, or books on tape. We pick up our children from school, only to take them to music lessons or karate class. We don’t want our lives to be dull and boring. We don’t want to waste time, so we fill up every nook and cranny of our lives with . . . stuff.

For me, the desire to fill up space began when I was very young. If I got a new notebook for school, I couldn’t wait to write in it. If I got a new lunch box, I couldn’t wait to fill it with a thermos full of red punch and a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. As adults, we fill up our houses and our garages with a bunch of stuff, most of which we never use.

I wonder why. Is it because we don’t like emptiness? Is it because deep down, we are trying to fill up a hole in our hearts?

Naaaaa. I just like stuff.

But we need some blank space in our lives. For doodling purposes. We need some sitting and thinking time. Or even some sitting and not thinking time. We need some lying on our backs, finding animal shapes in the clouds kind of time.

Even God Himself, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the Creator of the universe, took one day out of seven to rest. He saw the value in being still. He saw the value in blank space.

So today, dear readers, I’m going to take a stand. I’m not going to waste your time saying something, when I have nothing to say. I’m going to pause, and give you some much needed quiet time.

Or I would. But it seems I’ve run out of space.

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

4 Responses to Filling Up Space

  1. May 24, 2008 #

    Wasn’t it Aristotle who said nature abhors a vacuum?

    But then again, so do most folks.

  2. May 24, 2008 #

    Good point, Britta! 😉

  3. May 27, 2008 #

    Dear Renae,
    bull’s eye.
    A Norwegian author wrote a poem about that subject back in the sixties.
    After a long list of everything people will do to fill their life and their time, he finished “We have everything to fill in the vast gap of God.”
    From Felisol

  4. May 27, 2008 #

    Thanks, Felisol. Funny, my Morning Coffee post for today, titled “Abundance”, kind of fits this idea as well. Seems I have an accidental theme going. 😉

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