Chaplain’s thoughts …

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Inspiration in a facility usage operating instruction

This week, I had the joy of polishing a facility usage operating instruction. Admittedly, reviewing OIs is not exactly what I would call a good time but … meaning can be found in a thousand different circumstances.

At its core, a facility usage OI is about space and how that space is used. It deals with who and how the space should be used. The chapel has space that is set aside for sacred purposes, most notably the sanctuary. In this space, we baptize our children or believers, we unite in marriage, we honor the dead and we worship God according to the dictates of our hearts. Similarly, throughout our community, we are blessed with abundant houses of worship, churches, synagogues and mosques, these structures are set aside for worship. The rites, ceremonies and services held in these holy places bring meaning to the faithful from each tradition. But, it all begins with space … space set aside. We seem to understand this, even if we are not religious, it just seems to make sense.

There is also, I believe, space in our hearts. Space set aside for the mysterious and miraculous working of that which we cannot fully understand. This space needs to be protected. In this space, we need to discover ways to keep the junk of life from violating this space. For example, how are you doing at keeping anger and resentment out of your heart and mind? Are you allowing the offences of others, whether small or great, to fester and fill your mind with bitterness? Can you clear out more space in your life for justice, discretion and fortitude? Is there room in your heart for love, joy and peace? As we approach the end of another year, consider this question: have I created space in my life for God?

Thanks for your service and sacrifice.