The Longing, The Lingers - Sandra McCracken

Posted by Sandra McCracken on 19 December 2019

The Longing, The Lingers

Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:11-13 (ESV)

Today’s Song: “The Space Between"

 

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The day after Christmas is usually a bit of a let-down. The guests have gone home, no one has started back to the office, the trees are bare and there’s a quiet that settles in. Before the next distraction begins, there’s an opportunity. In the space that’s in between marked by one end and the next beginning, there’s a chance to take a deep breath and to ask yourself some questions.

There’s an old practice in the church adapted from St. Ignatius called an Examen. Like a good folk song, there are lots of versions circulating out there about just how to go about an Examen. In brief, the idea is that you would spend a few minutes at the end of the day to become aware of God’s presence.  Reflect on the day, you can remember on the times you felt close to God, or times you felt especially distant. In a few lines, express your need for grace, and offer up a word of gratitude.

“December ends, make way for dreams
Wait for the light to raise the spring
Embrace it all, from hope to doubt
Like ocean waves, moving in and out.”

 

There’s another layer to this lyric from “The Space Between” that’s about relationship. 

A few years ago, I went to visit a horse farm and talked with a woman there about her relationship with the animals. She explained boundaries in tangible terms. Horses cannot see straight in front of them, but they can see each side clearly. If you want to communicate with a horse, you can’t cling to his or her neck or you’ll be trampled. You can’t startle or yell at horses if you want them to walk beside you. Instead, you need to persuade them to come alongside you through patience and strength. “The space between you and the horse,” she said, “that is the whole relationship.” 

Take time during this Christmas season to pause, reflect and look on your relationship with God and the space between.

“Two worlds apart, come close again
Where do you stop? Where do I begin?
Each year we learn more what it means
To bless the space that’s in between.”

Prayer:

Be Thou my vision, Oh Lord of my heart.
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best thought by day or by night, waking or sleeping,
Thy presence my light. Amen.

The Complete Christmas Devotional Series 
Click to view each day

Day 1 - Joyful Anticipation

Day 2 - Tell It Like It is 

Day 3 - Ring the Bells

Day 4 - The Longing The Lingers

Day 5 - I Want My House Full

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