Fighting For Elbow Room

Yesterday I was on my way to meet a wonderful friend for a relaxing evening when I found myself fighting a meltdown moment.

Exiting one metro wagon and preparing to cross lines I melded into the masses. There was no place to go to avoid it. I waddled along, barely able to breathe because I was being squeezed so tightly between people trying to get to the escalators. “This must be what cattle feel like being herded,” I thought.  At one point I was being pushed so hard from behind that I was almost falling into the person in front of me and found myself trying to balance on my toes.

There was no personal space, no elbow room. It was almost an emotional breaking point.

Photo of Crowded Metro Station Zoloti Vorota
Photo by Misha Herzberg

This evening I sat down to read from “My Utmost for His Highest” and found myself reading, “As servants of God, we must learn to make room for Him–to give God ‘elbow room’.”

I forget that I should expect God to show up and so I make my own plans, fill the space with my own agenda, and end up squeezing  Him out. I expect Him to go with the flow that I set, which is often crowded, chaotic and just ends up getting things accomplished rather miserably for all involved.

I also frequently forget that God didn’t place me here for my comfort. It is one of my biggest daily battles because everything is so uncomfortable for me in this culture, and because of this I try to close off my comfort zone and leave God no elbow room there either.

I feel like all around me I’m in a push and pull for control. Physically I get pushed, pulled, elbowed and shoved every time I walk out into the public. Emotionally I find myself in a tug of war of love and hates and I scramble desperately to keep my emotions in check. Spiritually it seems God wants to shatter every comfort zone that is part of my life and I’m reluctant to relinquish my illusion of control.

How about you? Do you find that God has elbow room in your life? Or do you find that, like me, you forget to allow room for Him to show up?

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