Friday, June 24, 2016

Need a Little White Space?

He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” Mark 6:31

My team spent hours designing our experiment. We'd spent more hours training the shuttle crew to perform it on orbit. Didn't the scheduler know that? Why, then, did he refuse to allow time for the shuttle crew to do it on days I'd requested? 

Believe it or not, he insisted that my experiment wasn't the only important one being performed on that shuttle mission. (Of course it was!) He'd have to schedule ten-hour work days for the crew if everyone's requested tasks were to be done. 

If I was flexible in my requested days, he could fit it in. If I'd redesign the experiment so it could be done in four sessions rather than five, he could assure me it would be done on this mission. 

His job was to jealously guard white space - down time for the crew. 

Without scheduled breaks, the crew could become exhausted. They might have to pick and chose which tasks were more important. 

You see, the crew was too gung-ho. They'd work 24-hour days if they weren't forced to rest. The schedulers insisted on rest times spread throughout each day. During the mission, they hounded the crew to take their breaks. Unfortunately, once the guys were in the shuttle, orbiting over 200 miles above sea level, we didn't have much control. All we could do was tell them and hope they behaved.

Sound familiar? 

We all have way too many important tasks to do. We all run ourselves ragged with 30 hours of work to cram into a 24-hour day. 

But who guards our white space? Who says, "Come away with me and get some rest."?

Our kids might, except that their schedules are as packed as ours. Our husbands might, except that they have the same problem. 

Jesus does. In more ways than one. 

  • He calls us to slip into a quiet space and spend time at rest with Him. 
  • He makes us feel exhausted and hopes we'll listen to Him.
  • He invites us to take a family vacation and give everyone time to relax.
  • Sometimes, as He did with me, He says "Enough is enough!" 

He allowed me to work myself until I was sick. I even had a minor wreck because I fought going to sleep at the wheel. Still, I didn't listen. Finally, He took advantage of a lay-off and I lost my job. Boy, was I mad! I refused to acknowledge that it was my own fault. 

Like me, we all have the right to ignore Him - for a while. The crew often ignored the scheduler. If they weren't quite finished with a task when white space was set to start, they kept right on working. If they were troubleshooting a problem, they refused to give up. We knew what was going on but there was no way to reach across the miles and slap them.  

Jesus can reach across the miles and say "Sit down!" Don't make Him do that! Trust me, it isn't pretty. 

Draw aside with Him and pray about your priorities. Talk to your family. They might welcome a chance to slow down a bit. 

Above all, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

Please share!


  1. Oh, so right! I've found to my sorrow. Good reminder.

    1. We all have to learn the hard way, don't we, Carole! Thanks for dropping by.

  2. Great food for thought here, Sherry, thank you so much for sharing.

    1. Praise God that He calls us aside to be with Him. Thanks for commenting, Linda.

  3. Thank you Sherry! We all need a time to get away from it all, but we can't get away from it all if we try to take it with us. Thanks for your reminder. Yes, let us slip into a quiet space and spend time at rest with Him. And give Him our sorrow and sadness.

    1. I wish I'd go into that quiet place willingly, Jedidja, but so often, He has to drag me! Thanks for sharing your thoughts.