“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness” (2 Timothy 3:16).
We all have different ideas of what is appropriate personal space. Have you ever been talking with someone who keeps moving away from you? Now it could be a problem easily solved by a breath mint, but not necessarily. It just could be the person with whom you are conversing has a personal space boundary bigger than yours.
On the other hand, have you ever experienced someone getting closer and closer as they talk with you (or, as my daughter would say, “all up in your grill.”)? The air you breathe in is warm because it has just been exhaled by your close-up companion. You feel as though if you don’t back away from them you very well may blackout from the lack of oxygen provided by your shared breathing space.
Well, not too long ago I found myself dancing with a woman in the church foyer. This was no tango, no two-step dance. Rather it was a creative dance step I invented to try to create a little personal space. The sister just kept getting closer and closer to me. Don’t get me wrong; what she was saying was important to her, and to me. She apparently felt as if it were so important she needed to be nose to nose for the most effective communication to take place. I quickly realized I needed air, and fast, before I blacked out.
And so I danced. I moved to the left. She followed my lead. I moved back to the right. She was right there. I pivoted and made a complete turn but she got to where I was going before I did. Before I made another complete rotation I determined to take a step back as I was spinning so that I could leave my leg fully extended and my foot firmly planted and thereby create some space.
It was difficult to contain my satisfied smile and still listen to the woman as I realized that last dance move was successful. She couldn’t get up in my face even though she tried. I don’t know what she thought as she repeatedly bumped up against my leg. At one point I thought she was going down as she almost tripped stepping on my foot. Thankfully she regained her balance and righted herself before she sprawled out on the floor.
At one point the thought raced through my mind – “what in the world does this look like to others who may see me standing like this? I must look like an idiot with my leg all sticking out.” But my desire for appropriate personal space and fresh air more than overrode my desire to strike a sophisticated pose there in the foyer.
Later, as I reflected on this oddball dance in the foyer, my mind kept turning to God. Does this desire for appropriate personal space extend to my relationship with God? Do I keep Him at arms length? Have I ever pulled the double spin, leg extension, foot plant with the Almighty? Or am I willing to let God be “all up in my grill?” Am I willing to breathe the air He has just exhaled?