Weekly Devotional
by Elizabeth Vincent

An open day! Thank you, God. 

Sitting in the kitchen, I look out to the uncluttered, snow blanketed hillside. A ribbon of densely packed, dark, green pines undulates across the hillcrest reaching up to a blue sky thinly veiled with a white, diaphanous curtain. It is simple. It is quiet. I feel the calmness of this moment and cherish its centering peace. After a busy week, this space is a gift of time. A time to be still. 

I need these spaces. They keep me balanced. In these moments, I don’t try to do anything. I don’t focus on a sound, an object, an idea. I am simply open, and it is in these spaces I feel the closeness of the Creator’s Spirit. Sometimes ideas, sometimes the Creator’s wisdom, sometimes a caressing peace fills this space, but every time I am refreshed and strengthened for the next “busy” time of my life. 

I have wondered if this space isn’t akin to the 40 days and 40 nights referenced in the Testaments 159 times. Forty days and nights apart from the busyness of the world. An “open” space. This space isn’t about the passage of time, it is about being uncluttered and open to receive. The great flood, when Moses enters the cloud atop Mt. Sinai, the wandering of the Israelites before they enter the Promised Land, and the desert fasts of Moses, Elijah, and Jesus are only a few. 

What was the result of those timeless spaces? They were openings in time to be, to feel centering peace, to receive the Creator’s wisdom. They were openings to allow our renewal by our Creator. They were openings in time allowing for the preparation needed for the times ahead.

Next week marks the beginning of the 40 days of Lent. (Sundays don’t count. 😊) It is traditionally a time of fasting and reflection. Hopefully, it will include an “open” day.  
Loving God, hold our hands as we step through time.
Holy God, open a space in our time for peace, wisdom, and renewal.
Magnificent Creator of all, strengthen us with your loving-kindness.
Gentle Spirit, guide our hearts and minds along the paths of our lives
    to receive and give to all of creation what is needed for the times ahead.