A salesman once told me that an established maxim in advertising is White Space Sells. He explained that “less is more” in print ads. Keeping titles, information, and slogans short and punchy have a lot more impact than a flyer or ad crammed full of detailed text.
And aren’t we also like that? I tend to shut down when I feel overwhelmed with detail, endless to-do’s, and swirling emotions, just as I throw away flyers with too much to take in at a glance.
For a long time, I’ve used December to reflect on the year past and the one coming up. I form goals, clarify values, and edit out unnecessary involvements. Once my kids were grown, Christmas decorating, baking, and gift-giving (except to charity) lost its charm and freed up even more white space in my schedule and in my head as I streamlined my celebration of Christ’s birth.
This year, I come out of three years of focus on moving, settling into my new home, plus establishing a large garden, and I see an expanding horizon in front of me. It’s both enticing and a little daunting. Increased opportunities also present an increased challenge to carefully discern what should and shouldn’t be tackled, as well as how and when. So I’m not as far along in this process as I normally am after New Year’s. Plus I’m feeling the limits of my own abilities, energy, and drive, both personally and professionally.
Coincidentally, a broadcast of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir recorded a year ago for Human Rights/Martin Luther King Day showed up in my queue on Direct TV last Sunday. The Spoken Word message really spoke to me. Fittingly, Dr. King was quoted as follows:
When our days become dreary with low-hovering clouds of despair,
and when our nights become darker than a thousand midnights,
let us remember that…[God] is able to make a way out of no way,
and transform dark yesterdays into bright tomorrows.
(Source listed in link above)
There was the light I needed. I was absolutely right to see that by my own powers alone, there really was NO WAY to achieve all my goals and dreams. But as I’ve seen repeatedly, God can open a way where there was no way before. He has provided employment, housing, creative opportunities, and friends. He has led me to insights and wisdom far beyond my own. I don’t quite know where this year is headed yet, although I see glimmers through the trees:
* Continuing to work with home buyers and sellers on a selective basis,
* Defending the faith in writing and orally,
* Looking for a publisher for my phonics readers,
* Expanding my social life.
All are twinkling at me. Stay tuned for updates….
If you’re looking for a good movie that brilliantly illuminates how God opens a way when there is no way, go see Darkest Hour, a film about a couple of weeks in Winston Churchill’s early tenure as Prime Minister in 1940. The entire British Army of 300,000 soldiers was trapped on the French beaches of Dunkirk, with the far more powerful German army and air force poised to annihilate them. Churchill had to weigh the loud voices of powerful British leaders pushing for a “negotiated peace” with Hitler versus his own belief that Hitler is a Bengal Tiger and you don’t negotiate when your head is in his mouth! (paraphrased). Go see it to find out what happened.
I am reaffirming my belief in God’s miracles today and reminding myself to call for them, expect them, and then be grateful for them when they show up. I invite you to do the same, and then let’s share those stories with each other and whoever needs a message of hope.