Creating A Sacred Place ~ Tending The Threshold
Week One: Creating Your Sacred Place When you pray, go into your inner room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.
Our Inner Room Jesus gives us a great pattern here for prayer and meditation, our inner room. It’s obvious Jesus is speaking about our spiritual inner room, but it can also be our physical inner room as well.
And what do you think your reward will be for establishing a Devotional Spiritual Practice? Peace, rest, sleep? Maybe the still quiet presence of God? Where our deepest need is met? If we’re slap wore out, it’s probably sleeping.
Tending The Threshold Take a week to establish a place and time to steal away into the stillness.
The beginning of any flourishing and overflowing spiritual life is having a devotional time and place.
If you’re beginning the journey of a thousand miles, you begin with the first step. So enjoy this one step.
‘We make our habits and then our habits make us.’
You are beginning an ancient tradition lost in antiquity. Saints and sages throughout the centuries have sought communion and Oneness with the Eternal.
This isn’t Church or being religious, it’s being real. When we enter and leave this world, we are face to face with eternity. We’re here to do business with eternity.
Have you ever asked yourself what in your deepest awareness are you yearning for? I’ll be honest, what draws me into contemplation is my suffering, plain and simple.
I talk to folks that tell me “I can’t prayer” or “I can’t meditate. It doesn’t work for me.” Prayer and meditation are the easiest and the hardest things you will ever do. It’s simple enough that anyone can do it, and it’s hard enough that it will transform anyone. So pace yourself. It’s not a sprint. It’s not a destination. Devotion is a journey with God.
For now, it’s creating a sacred place for your heart to rest, revive, renew, and restore.
What you already have is enough At the start of any new habit, it takes a lot of effort. In fact, the more you’re suffering, the harder it will be. When I started back into meditation, 25 years ago, I gave myself 10 years, ie. the 10,000 hr rule. I knew it was a marathon to change the plasticity of my brain. So take it slow and easy and have some fun with it. Curiosity and discovery are the best ways to begin. We create a sacred place where we can come to rest and worship. Create your own sacred space where you can soak in the Presence of God and be restored in your morning devotions.
In the process, slowly (over time) you will notice your Being expanding and consciousness expand in God’s Presence where everything becomes sacred. You are beginning to bring heaven on earth. You are creating a place that grounds you in eternity and in God.
Tending The Threshold In beginning a Daily Devotion habit, you are setting aside a place for the sole purpose of prayer and meditation. It can appear counter-intuitive, but it’s the cornerstone of any good spiritual practice.
Have fun with it. Get stoked. Make it a project of joy. You are creating a place of rest, not labor. You want to make a place that draws you in, not a place to work.
You are Creating a Sanctuary, a holy place, a sacred space. You are establishing a place of refuge in the world, a place where your mind and heart can shift gears when you sit down.
Keep a journal of your journey So as you create your sanctuary, gather simple things that inspire you to engage…maybe a cross, a candle, or a Bible.
But be sure to have some way to write down what God says to you, so you can remember later when things aren’t flowing, to inspire, comfort, and encourage you.
Keep It Fun You don’t want to create a place of duty, that burdens you down. You are creating a place of light and life that lifts your spirit. So take your time.
Creating is a journey, not a destination. I’m a guy, so mine is more like a monastic cell next to a window that catches the early morning light.
On a side note: It should be noted that your goal on difficult mornings can be just to sit down. No daily prayer offices, no Scripture readings, maybe one simple word, Jesus. You are creating a connection point, a place of communion, and worship. The thing is, don’t expect great things from yourself. Expect God to show up. And start small: Everything begins with small beginnings. Baby steps.
Keep It Simple Practices grow, and build and morph, and change. It’s a lot like tilling the earth for a garden. You are tending the threshold. So keep refining and abandon what doesn’t work for you. It’s OK. It’s progress, not perfection after all. Leave the perfection up to God.
Set Yourself Up For Encounter Here’s something to chew on. Spirit in Hebrew, Greek, and many other languages is breath, wind, energy, and life. Spirit is the essence of who you really are, your being, your true self. Spiritual practice is practicing or engaging your spirit. If you’ve ever played a sport: You’re preparing the field for your spiritual practice, and preparation begins the night before. In fact, the Biblical day begins at sunset with rest. How counterintuitive is that?
So getting a good night’s rest is vital. That’s why you should put your devices in another room. Spirit is an energy thing. Cultivate your energy. Let me say it again. In Spiritual practice, you are cultivating your energy, not your time.
Tony Schwartz in The Power of Full Engagement says it this way. “The secret to better work is: Manage Your Energy, Not Your Time. The number of hours in a day is fixed, but the quantity and quality of energy available to us is not.,” This might not sound spiritual, but it really is.
We are all beginners every single morning. We begin again, and connect and set ourselves up for an encounter with God.
Let us sweep the threshold.