Beauty in the hamster wheel - Jesus Army Life

For the first time in a while I recognised that liberating sensation. It flowed through me like a breeze of fresh air. I could savour the moment. There was a sense of possibility, foetal hope. Love could bloom here. But it wasn't anything directly supernatural. Neither was it the taste of a cold beer on a warm summer's evening (soon, I hope). No, it was closer to home and more profound than that.

Open arms Originally uploaded by Kenny Teo
It was as if, within my soul, a creative space had opened up, the precious utility of freedom within.

I'm sure you've known something of the opposite experience. I think I’ve had my fill of it: being rushed off your feet, a million things at once, with no reserve left to deal with mounting demands. You wake up thinking of jobs that need to be done and, as soon as one task is completed, you are executing plans for the next one. Mundanity seems like a break. And if you slow down, your mind still can't stop racing. Complete relaxation feels like a luxury.

Perhaps I take myself too seriously but that’s what it feels like... Someone tell me I'm not the only one to have been there?

But then, with a little effort, something can change. You're on top again, life is manageable, prayer is no longer so desperate, it's beginning to make sense. You have time to assess how you're responding to people, you can take a breath and enjoy life, cracking a joke doesn't feel so ironic, it's just beautiful, in the moment.

You can give your best to people with confidence. You feel like you could almost write poetry (I'll save you the torture...)

That's creative space, and you can know it within your soul, especially when you've been missing out for a while.

Creative space is vital – it’s the ability to objectively respond to the happenings around you, to grasp the significance of them and volunteer your own talents to the effort. It is fresh, almost naive energy for the task at hand, whether offering a smile to a friend or taking up a challenging project. Without it, you can only react to every situation around you, with it you could build a Kingdom.

Why do I mention this on a blog about community? There’s something about the communal life, if it is lived with a purpose, which demands the best from you so much of the time (at least it does of me!) Sharing with others can mean you get into a continuous mode of giving (the door is never closed), but sharing life together must also be about receiving from one another. And that takes a conscious decision to welcome others in. At any one time there are a dozen other lives going on around you and you have to make room for these in your heart, not with a sense of responsibility, but with a sense of love. (Admittedly, this is where I often get things wrong.)

In community there are beautiful moments aplenty, but if you can't feast on these with full celebration, there is also a danger. That danger is that while you may have escaped the world's rat race, you can still create your own little hamster wheel, and personally, rather than spinning around in circles, I'd like to be enjoying people and writing bad poetry.

I recently related to a friend how challenging everything seemed to be, and he responded with a question, “Are you saying God’s grace is not enough?”

Take my advice: make space for God and receive His grace, get back to the basics, at least reading the Bible deliberately and often, even if you don’t like it much; make space for God and He will make creative space for you.