Space is an important theological issue. I'm not talking about outer space-although, I guess there are some cosmologically theological issues at hand there. But what I'm talking about is something that anyone who's ever moved into a dorm room or tried to stay away during a class that is in a dreary lecture hall or worshiped in a space that doesn't reflect the type of God that the minister is speaking of. I believe that how we organize the physical surroundings that we exist in matters.
The first day I started work at Country Club Christian Church, I spent the day reorganizing my office so that when people came in, I wouldn't be distant and separated by a desk (instantly making someone feel like they were talking to a boss or a banker). I wanted to have chairs that allowed for people to feel comfortable in this small space. And recently, I just finished hanging pictures, art and other stuff to make the room a bit more inviting. I don't know if it's helped my productivity, but I know the time I spend in my office is exponentially more satisfying because I feel at home in my space.
I've been thinking about space quite a bit recently as the New 20s class is trying to turn room 207-which was formerly used as a storage closet-into something that is inviting, cozy and familiar. That means, everything from the color of the walls, window coverings, furniture, the arrangement of it all and even the wall hangings will hopefully come together to invite strangers in to rest and study and share their lives with their neighbors. Right now the classroom is still being painted and we don't have the furniture that I'm hoping for. But, starting this Sunday, our group will have a beautiful room that will hopefully get more and more in tune with what we are attempting to convey.
What spaces are fostering you? What spaces in your life do you need to change? I bet whether it's a work, worship, a favorite bar or at home that you have spaces you love and those that you just despise. I bet if you need to read, there's something about the chair or the lighting of a certain place that makes you gravitate towards that. See if you can name the good spaces and what makes them so, and for those that need re-arranging, do it. Name it as your spiritual practice of the day. Do a bit of holy feng shui!