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  • Katie Smith

No room left

When my kids do not want to hear what I have to say because it goes against their plans, they cover their ears with cupped hands and hope that I will stop talking. To their detriment, I don't tolerate shutting ears or minds to truth or growth. We don't have to believe, but we must at least open our ears and our spaces to see the reality of misdirection. If we only hear our plans, we silence better ones.

No room exists in the landscape of our minds. We literally pack our plans into a specific timetable, and no extra space remains. If we already know which direction is forward, then we won't consider moving backwards, even if the map is upside down. While we promote critical thinking to our kids, we don't practice those same principals when it comes to changing our direction or making room for the impossible.

No room existed when the promised Messiah came into our historical records either. Every corner of every motel and midwifery was taken. The parents-to-be, probably stunned and silenced, discovered that the Savior of the world would be born in a barn. Their labor plans shifted dramatically into a trough of hay. But low and behold, this was the life we are to mimic--shifting our minds to eradicate concrete plans.

"You are looking for a way to kill me, because you have no room for my word [said Jesus]" (John 8:37). Those who wanted to kill this man from "nowhere" couldn't make room for the conversation of possibility. Perhaps He was fulfilling the promises that they preached in their own synagogues. Maybe He wasn't who they presumed Him to be.... but without room in their minds and hearts, they didn't have ears to hear anything He said or eyes to recognize anything He did.

What if God wants to do something radically different in your life, but there's no space in your mind to even entertain His suggestions. The Pharisees planned to kill Jesus. They couldn't change their minds and actually see the truth of His words. Like a child who has already decided they will hate whatever new food you crowd on their plate, we also make up our minds and put roadblocks in any open space. We refuse to entertain the idea of change--giving Him all the room needed to shape and mold us. That may be fine for others, but we are perfectly fine in our two-mile radius of comfort.

We give God only a small corner that fits our lifestyle, like a smashed seed in a packed garden. There's no room for Him to breathe, speak, or move in our lives. Even if He sprouts in our life for a time, the stuff around us will choke Him to death. Without room for God to grow, His desires will be silenced to our own detriment.

He wouldn't dare request that of me! That's too far outside my comfort zone. I am just not that brave.

This time of year, we remember how God did the unthinkable with the unlikely. We undertand hind-sight is 20-20, but we can't seem to apply this same knowledge to our own lives. Closed ears miss the directions that lead to continual peace. "'Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear'” (Luke 14:35). One step of faithful obedience leads to lasting peace. "All is calm. All is bright." The future becomes an open, peaceful field of possibility just like when we were kids, and anything was possible!

Uncover your ears and make room for the impossible place that God wants to take you. "When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place. The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing." (Psalm 118:5-6, 145:16).

Making room Carefully and Carelessly

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