The closest I’ve come to an anxiety attack was 2 years ago when I flew to LA with a 1 year old. As every sleepless hour passed on the plane, I got more and more anxious. Partly because of the unknown territory of a child who has not slept for a whole day, and partly because I knew I was going to be flying back to New Zealand in 2 weeks time without Justin.
We got off the plane and drove 2 hours up a mountain with limited Internet access and no stores in sight. Then the real fun began. We had come to attend Terra Nova- a creative weekend with Mosaic LA.
By lunch time of our first day, I learned that I was to plan and give a 3 minute talk- as if it were the last talk I’d ever give- by dinner time. So I had 5 hours to write it, practice it, and then stand up and give it.
Nevermind that those 5 hours were fully booked with sessions, meals with people we had traveled across the world to meet, and taking care of a very tired, very hungry child- because to make it more fun, he had refused to eat since arriving in LA. I felt like I had every excuse in the world to not deliver that talk. But I wanted to.
My nerves were on edge to say the least. I can remember scribbling notes while feeding Kohen, knowing I had to deliver a talk in 1 hour, in front of people I admire, and I still had no idea what I was going to talk about.
I learned more about faith in this experience than I did about communicating I think.
When we started coming to Mosaic meetings, we were discussing lots of ways to be Church, and 1 of the terms we used often was “liminal space”. Liminal space is a place of disorientation and risk; it’s the space between what is and what could be.
- Being in the liminal space means stepping out of our safe lives.
- Liminal spaces challenge conventional ways of thinking and shape new ways of being.
- Liminal spaces are full of uncertainty.
- Stepping into liminal spaces with others creates community- a bond is created between people in these spaces.
We discussed how following God and obeying God’s commands will always lead us into this liminal space. We talked about throwing our hats over the fence, going into the jungle, and jumping out of airplanes together with no parachutes. Our definition of faith always included taking risk.
That 3 minute talk in the woods of LA took me to a personal liminal space. I felt like I had jumped out of a plane when I stood up to give my talk that night. And you know what, it was not a profound talk that I gave, but rather I had a profound experience. I was stretched beyond my safety and security, and I found a new bit of myself and God.
I left that experience with a new muscle in me– a new craving for stepping into liminal spaces with others, with an expectancy that God meets us in these spaces.
It’s still what I long for us to do with Mosaic 2.0. I still feel God calling us out of safety into the space beyond what we know; into what could be.
Have you ever experienced a liminal space?
Why do you think God calls us to liminal spaces?
What keeps you in the safety of your life?