Thursday, June 01, 2006


Okay, I don’t know about you, but I have a definite personal space marked around me with a big black permanent marker. Stay on your side of the line and I’m happy. Cross that line and well. . .You probably don’t even think about until someone walks up to you a few inches too close and makes you take that big step backward. Know what I mean?

Depending on who you are, your back ground, and culture, your personal space isn’t necessarily the same as mine. That’s when the problem comes in. If I need a foot and you need two, I’m liable to back you right up against a wall.

Take for instance yesterday at the store. I’m next in line and there’s one woman behind me. The store’s not crowded, but when I turn around there she is, standing less than an inch from me. I notice the long EMPTY space behind her. There’s no one there. No reason for her not to give me my much needed personal space.

And she didn’t even notice that she’d come WAY too close for my comfort.

I find this part of culture very interesting. Another good example is alone time. Not only do I need my space, I crave time alone. It’s something I don’t get too often living with three kids and being involved in ministry. While I love to be around people, I also find peace and renewal in a quiet room where all I can here is my own breathing.

The African culture is completely opposite. Scott once mentioned to an African friend how he’d love to spend a few days at a monastery in total quiet, just seeking God. To Scott, that was peace. To the African, the thought of being alone was literally frightening. He couldn’t imagine not being around people constantly. Noise and people made him feel safe.

It’s made me think how God has made each of us unique and has a plan for us.

“From one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole earth; and he determined the times set for them the exact places where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us.” Acts 17:26-27




  1. Oh, man! I'm totally with you on that. LOL That's one thing I get uptight about thinking about living with my in-laws. NOT that they do that--but getting ALONE time. I know I need that to unwind. SIGH.

  2. Anonymous2:44 AM

    I always thought that the personal space issue was just an American idea. So much of the world is crowded that it seems that they accept it much more easily than we do when our space is invaded. Myself, I have a very small need for personal space, but infringe on my personal alone time and we may have a problem. God help me to release that from my hands into yours.