Creating a Sacred Place: Tending the Threshold

I would like to share with you a guest post from Bob Holmes. Bob writes as The Contemplative Monk, you might be familiar with his Facebook page by the same name. He also writes on his blog,

In this post Bob talks about sacred spaces and how we can make something holy out of what is secular.

I hope you enjoy it!

Creating Your Sacred Place

The beginning of any flourishing, sustainable, and overflowing spiritual life is having a devotional time and place. 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, you will begin to expand and notice that every space becomes sacred. You are bringing heaven on earth.You are creating a place that grounds you, 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.

Make a journal of your journey

So as you create your sanctuary, gather simple thins 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.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.As a wrap-up, 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, it’s like this: 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.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. 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.Like me, you might be a night person, but we are all beginners every single morning. We begin again, and connect and set ourselves up for God

Let us sweep the threshold.

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4 thoughts on “Creating a Sacred Place: Tending the Threshold

  1. The Magdalene’s Blessing

    You hardly imagined
    standing here,
    everything you ever loved
    suddenly returned to you,
    looking you in the eye
    and calling your name.

    And now
    you do not know
    how to abide this ache
    in the center
    of your chest,
    where a door
    slams shut
    and swings open
    at the same time,
    turning on the hinge
    of your aching
    and hopeful heart.

    I tell you,
    this is not a banishment
    from the garden.

    This is an invitation,
    a choice,
    a threshold,
    a gate.

    This is your life
    calling to you
    from a place
    you could never
    have dreamed,
    but now that you
    have glimpsed its edge,
    you cannot imagine
    choosing any other way.

    So let the tears come
    as anointing,
    as consecration,
    and then
    let them go.

    Let this blessing
    gather itself around you.

    Let it give you
    what you will need
    for this journey.

    You will not remember
    the words—
    they do not matter.

    All you need to remember
    is how it sounded
    when you stood
    in the place of death
    and heard the living
    call your name.

    © Jan Richardson

    Another poem by Jan Richardson called:

    A Blessing Betwixt

    May you abide
    the places in between:
    the thresholds, the passages,
    the spaces f waiting
    and patience and preparing.

    May you give yourself
    to the mysteries
    that move us from what was
    toward what is yet to be

    May you know the company of angels
    who come only
    to those betwixt
    and who love
    the liminal places
    and the treasures
    that they hold

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