Psalm 26:8 - O Lord, I love the habitation of Your house and the place where Your glory dwells.
This devotion pairs with this weekend's Lutheran Hour sermon, which can be found at lutheranhour.org.
A business consultant was working with a manager. At work, the manager was relentlessly driven and constantly driving his workers. At home, however, things were different. With his family, the man was relaxed, patient, fun, funny. So, the consultants asks him, "How do you do it? How do you go from psycho businessman man to super dad?" The manager said, "It's simple. It all comes down to my third space." It turns out, the man had built a private entrance into his house. Years ago, he realized that he'd been taking his work home with him. As a result, he was demoralizing his wife and children with unreasonable expectations and inadequate attention. So, he hired a construction crew to build him a separate entrance. Now, he goes straight from his car, through his entryway, directly into his bedroom. There, takes off his suit, showers, and resets; then, comes out to greet his family, a new man.
Adam Fraser, the consultant who observed this, was a researcher in the field of human performance. This manager's drastic measures gave him an idea about how to communicate his discoveries. Fraser had found that the top performers in their fields were the ones who could reset—quickly transitioning from one interaction to the next. Of course, not everyone can build a private entryway into their house. But, Fraser thought, what if this "third space" wasn't a physical space, but a mental space, or emotional, or spiritual? A space you could "go" to in an instant, to reflect, rest, and reset, and then step into whatever happens next. Fraser wrote a book about this, and in honor of the manager, titled it The Third Space.
It's an old idea, really, repackaged for a new time. The people of ancient Israel were doing something like this thousands of years ago, after they had lost their physical worship space, the temple in Jerusalem. The temple was Israel's physical entryway into a sacred space with God. But, somewhere along the way, the people began regarding the physical temple as the thing itself. The temple became their god. So, the true God sent a foreign army to destroy it. God used the loss to help them reset. And that's when a collection of poems became even more important to them—poems known today as the book of Psalms.
Over the next several weeks on The Lutheran Hour, and on Fridays with these devotions, I'll be inviting you to use the psalms in this way, as an entryway into the presence of God. Wherever you are, let the psalms transport you into a hiding place with Jesus Christ. Speak the words of the psalms in faith, as your own words, God-given words that Jesus won for us by His death on the cross, words that He delivers to us through His resurrection from the dead. Use these words as your third space.
Jesus Himself used the psalms in this way. When He was being crucified, cut off from the physical temple, He used at least two psalms to reset, reflect, and remember who He was, where He came from, and why He matters. Alive and made new in Christ, Christians do the same because the risen Jesus is our temple, where life with God awaits us, even now. And the psalms are like an entryway to it.
WE PRAY: Jesus, I love the refuge of Your presence, the place where Your glory dwells. Amen.
This Daily Devotion was written by Rev. Dr. Michael Zeigler, Speaker of The Lutheran Hour.
1. What helps you more effectively transition from the demands of one activity, environment, or interaction, into a new set of demands?
2. Read Psalm 26. How does David cope with the pressures and demands of his calling as king?
3. Moving forward with Jesus, how might the psalms enrich your life with God?
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