Thanks for “intentional blanks”

Day thirteen of thanks has arrived, and the blessings of this summer are certainly here – I just have to look, and not very hard. But allow me to explain the title of this post. On occasion, you’ve probably seen an ironic statement at the end of a book’s chapter: “This page intentionally left blank.” If those words are there, it isn’t completely blank, I know, but the point is clear – the empty page is quite purposeful.

Like the primarily blank page, there is also empty space around the edges of a page, between paragraphs, even between words. This “white space” is necessary in printed works, and it is also a necessary part of life. This morning’s family church service focused on just that: white space. Or, to be clearer, the need for rest and stillness. The command for rest was the third commandment given to Moses, recorded in Exodus 20, was to “honor the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.” Jesus did state that he was “Lord of the Sabbath” when approached about this topic, but he also left select times intentionally blank by separating himself from others to be alone and to pray.

So do I leave enough purposefully blank pages in my life? Too many? Do these pages have purpose, with added focus brought in by the necessary margins? These thoughts will start today’s list, so here we’ll go:

Day 13 – 5 things of thanks 

1. stillness – during vacation week or a week at home, I am thankful for times of stillness and quiet. Times of “white space.”

2. family pictures – at some point each summer, our extended family takes a photo together. (Actually, Dad takes the picture with a digital camera and remote control.) Though this may be a little annoying, I enjoy looking back at these photos from over the years, and I’m thankful that most of us could be here together this afternoon.

3. digital cameras – how nice it is to be able to take photos, immediately see how they came out, and take lots of snapshots without using film. Lovely indeed!

4. remote controls – I have certainly come to take these for granted, having them for a television, stereo, dvd player and the like. But today I recognized this blessing again, as Dad was able to take our family pic without moving around, but with the click of a remote control. I sometimes forget just how amazing this technology is!

5. rain – though we’re away from home, I could almost hear pockets of cheering from parts of the state. From Upland, there was much rejoicing on Facebook. I saw reports of one inch of rain, more than we’ve received for the past month – hooray!

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