Monday, August 15, 2011

"Third Place"

I had one of those 'minor revelation' moments today! Having flicked around on the internet for a while I found myself reading some pages for Pastors and came to this article. Now, however behind the times it makes me, I have to say that I'd never come across the 'third place' expression or concept. This says that Home = our first place, Work = our second place, ? = our third place. For many Christians 'church' would be the third place but for ministers home, work and church can become a big mix of one with significant overlapping. And without knowing anything about this 'third place' stuff I think it says something about what makes me struggle at times. I do notice how energised finding 'other spaces' makes me and how peace is much more apparent when I'm not completely taken up with the mix of work and work at home. Unfortunately I don't find myself those spaces anywhere near often enough (or make enough purely home space either to give some definition between 'home' and 'work') and while I love home and work and church I find it hard to switch off from the big task out there.

So this bit of pondering is leading me to a) consider how I redefine my 'home' (and family) space and give myself permission to enjoy and put more effort into it! b) to ask what others (you) do to find a 'third place', if indeed you do. A question not just for ministers but for all. And I'm sure there are others for whom this is a particular challenge, such as mums at home focused on bringing up children? c) to look for that (or those) third places that give life a bit more roundedness and sense of wholeness.
Perhaps for some of us that place needs to be partially a mental division as much as a physical place?
"I have come that they may have life, and have it in all its fullness" (Jesus)

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