I first heard the term “filling the white space” from my friend. She’d been praying and felt God asking her not to fill up the apparently “free” time she had with other things to do—namely, commitments or responsibilities for church or work or anywhere outside her home and family. My friend is wonderful at volunteering for things, especially if she sees a need, and she always takes those responsibilities seriously.
But a few months later, we were talking and she had realized she had still filled up that white space. She’d made several different work-related commitments that had seemed like good financial opportunities at the time, but that had ended up taking time away from her family. God was now reminding her to not fill up her time with other commitments without praying about it first and getting a clear directive from Him.
This reminds me of my own life. I tend to want to fill my time so that I’m always busy, especially if the opportunity will help increase our family’s income. But while they may be good opportunities, they sometimes take too much time away from things that are more important, like a particular book the Lord wants me to write, or volunteer time at my church, or just time spent with my family. I’m not very good at stopping to pray and waiting to hear God’s clear voice about what He wants me to do or not do.
The conversation with my friend was a good opportunity to stop and reevaluate what I’m filling my time with. I’m still seeking the Lord’s final guidance in this, but I’ve been able to create a plan to slowly filter out volunteer commitments that might be taking my time away from the important stuff in my life. I don’t want to leave anyone in the lurch, but I also don’t want to ignore God’s will for my time and energies.
I encourage you to reevaluate your time and activities, too. Are there things that may be taking too much time from what’s important? You may not have any activity in your life that should be culled, but sometimes there are things we’ve always done and we’re continuing to do them simply because we’re used to doing them, but that now might be less important than other things in our lives.
Let’s all make the rest of this year a time to give our activities to God and figure out what we may need to let go. Let’s not strive to fill up the white space.