Saturday, May 28, 2011

Sacred Space

Re-monking” is like having a garage sale. Let me explain. Over time, we accumulate so much stuff, that we actually have to begin refusing blessings we are offered because we have no room for them. There comes a time, for most sane people, that enough is enough and we must clear the clutter from our lives! Sometimes, it's a move that gets us motivated, sometimes it's to scrape up some extra cash, and other times it's just to make room for something else we plan on getting. Whatever the reason, having a garage sale is a great way to lighten the load.

Although our thirty day re-monking challenge (see my last post below) is a little more like posting an item on craigslist than having a garage sale, in that we are tackling one thing at a time, the point is the same: we get rid of stuff in order to make room for something else. Often, that “something else”, may just be extra space.

Now that spring is wrapping up and summer is nearly upon us, the garage sale season is in full swing.  Another thing that occurs about this time of year is that most people who made New Year's Resolutions begin to realize that the thing they promised themselves on January 1st is just not gonna happen. I guess the main difference between “re-monking” and all the other “resolutions” we make comes down to our motivation. Generally, resolutions are pledges to make ourselves better, whereas “re-monking” is more of a realignment to make ourselves more available to God and to others.

Creating sacred space, is the key to re-monking, or making our way toward a new monasticism, or becoming more devoted followers of Christ in this postmodern age. Back to the garage sale thing: when preparing for a garage sale, we first search for things in our home that we no longer have use for, ie: Ab-lounge (this is the easy part), and then we realize that if we are going to have a successful sale, we have to sacrifice some of the things that we had rather keep, but are no longer necessary, like the home-brew kit or the George Foreman Grill.

I have decided to start my re-monking journey by getting rid of the the things I no longer have use for...those things in my life that are not necessary and/or serve no real edifying purpose (like peach flavored long-cut snuff). Because I'm starting with the easy stuff, i have a sense that when more difficult choices come, I will have the courage and confidence to lay such things down to make space for God, because I will have already experienced a history of His faithfulness toward me in smaller sacrifices.

Unlike a New Year's resolution, where most people commit to starting something new (like a diet, an exercise program, a budget, etc.) with the aim of improving themselves, my journey toward a new monasticism is beginning with stopping, clearing out, getting rid-of the stuff that that gets in the way of having more of God. Sacred space is the first item on this holy agenda. For without it, our search for God becomes one more plate to spin, one more ball to juggle, and one more frustrating and unsuccessful attempt to improve ourselves. Re-monking ourselves is God-focused not me focused.

It's sad thing when the owner of the house has no place to sit in His own home. Therefore, if we truly desire to become “devoted ones” it is imperative that we create space for the sacred; for the One who calls us beloved.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh sums it up beautifully in the following passage from Gifts from the Sea:

One cannot collect all the beautiful shells on the beach. One can collect only a few; and they are more beautiful if they are few. My life at home, I begin to realize, lacks this quality of significance, and therefore of beauty, because there is so little empty space...Too many activities, and people, and things. Too many worthy activities, valuable things and interesting people. For it is not merely the trivial that clutters our lives, but the important as well. We can have a surfeit of treasures and excess of shells – where one or two would be significant.”

In the Lion, In the Lamb,


Win a copy of Punk Monk written by Andy Freeman and Pete Greig
  1. reading my last post “One Thing You Could Do For The Next 30 Days That Would Change Your Life Forever”
  2. post a comment indicating your plan to re-monk for the next 30 days

*you may also enter to win Punk Monk by re-posting a message from us on facebook or retweeting on twitter! The drawing will be held June 7th, a week from this coming Tuesday!

1 comment:

  1. D. McKinstry commits to finding out what is on his friends' hearts and encouraging them in that thing for 30 days!

    D. McKinstry has been entered into Punk Monk drawing.