I’ve been working on a book about creating sacred space and inviting the Divine to dwell with it, and my focus on this subject every day increased my desire to practice what I preach in my own home. So, last weekend I announced that I wanted to create a sacred space in our spare room. My son jumped at the chance to help, and he did most of the work. When we were done, we had a meditation and prayer room, which like to call our sanctuary.
I had to give up a fair amount of control – and I like to be in control, especially when it comes to a space I will use frequently – and let him decorate. He cleaned out all his toys and helped move a bunch of boxes and such into a storage closet. Then he started moving tables around, and finally he began bringing in ritual objects – books, candles, tarot cards, and finally a beautiful silver-and-Elat-stone-bound Old Testament that was my father’s and a tattered and torn bible of his grandfathers, which includes the Old and New Testament.
My son announced that he planned to keep that bible for himself, since his grandfather has recently been diagnosed with lung cancer. In addition, he wanted to go upstairs to our sanctuary and read one psalm from it every morning before going to school. I was skeptical, knowing how little extra time he has in the mornings. But do you know, he did just that for the first four out of five school days last week. He disappeared up there again the first two days of this week.
I was so impressed by his commitment and his desire to create a sacred space and a spiritual practice. He is only 12 after all. I wished I had started at his age…what a gift for him to have such a connection to the Divine already while I struggle each day to find, to feel, to remember my connection.
I was also impressed with his wisdom. He knew he needed not only a sanctuary but time to spend in it. He told me he wanted to meditate and to pray there. And his desire renewed my commitment to my project. If a child, who should still feel his connection to the Divine to some extent, feels the need for a retreat from daily life, for time spent communing with God, how much more do the rest of us need that sanctuary in time, that moment or two of meditation, that daily prayer practice, that time to talk to and listen to God? I know I need it.
They say we teach what we need to learn most…and that when we are ready, a teacher will appear. Now I understand the meaning of these adages.