Has it ever seemed to you like life is moving so fast that you are going without spacebars? Just as you can probably decipher the jumble of words at the end of the last sentence, most likely you can keep pushing through your crazy schedule—at least for a while. But just as words would eventually lose their meaning if there were never a space between them, so life lived without any spaces or margin comes to feel like a lengthy run-on sentence.
We human beings have an outstanding ability that sets us apart from all other creatures on earth. This is our ability to think about thinking, or what psychologists term metacognition. Thinking about our thinking is innate, yet when life comes at us fast, we often forget to do so. We don’t take the space bar between relationships, circumstances, and emotions to look back and think. We don’t think about the thinking that’s driving the action that’s driving us crazy
Scripture instructs us, “Take heed to your spirit, that you do not deal treacherously” (Malachi 2:16, NKJV). Taking a space bar is our chance to take heed to our spirit, to pay attention to what the actions of our lives tell us about the condition of our spirit. It’s only by paying attention that we can ensure we are not dealing treacherously with people and with God
I’ve found three tools to use during my space bar moments to help uncover the issues lurking in my heart:
Taken from She’s Got Issues by Nicole Unice copyright © 2012. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved.
- An Incident. Think of a recent situation that didn’t go the way you wanted, or of a problematic relationship that you spend a lot of time thinking about. Having a specific example in mind will help as you learn about yourself. What/who drives you crazy? What’s a recent interaction that you can use as a case study?
- Prayer. It is rare that we set out to intentionally wrong another person or act unkind. So if you’re in turmoil over a situation or a recent interpersonal interaction, keep in mind that you likely have already concluded that you are in the right. Ask God in a simple way to enter in with you to this space bar. “God, I know there is a way that seems right to me. Would you open my heart to receive your instruction in this?
- Writing on the why. My counseling supervisor is known to say, “Journaling is the cheapest form of therapy.” You must get out what has gotten in, and often writing is the best way to do so. Frequently people don’t stop to think beyond whatever’s frustrating them. Instead, they camp out on that thought and allow an endless and repetitive complaint to dominate their mind. Writing can help us get unstuck and move on to the final “why” of our actions. If I find my sister annoying, my natural response is to dwell on what annoys me about her, never asking the next question. Writing on the why is about that next question. It’s asking myself in the space bar, “But why does she annoy me?” “What do I want to be different?” And then asking the next question, and the next, until I finally get to the rock-bottom statement of my soul, the place often visited by pride or fear or self-center desires. That’s the place where we can be met by Jesus, our provider, our healer, our savior, our rescuer—the one who can satisfy us in our deepest place of need and direct us back into our lives with freedom and love.