My parents made up words. And I never needed a dictionary to know what they meant. “Skooch over, so your sister has room to sit down.” Skooch? How do you “skooch”? Well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Skooch over means that you have to grudgingly (feel free to roll your eyes and grumble a lot) slide over on the couch barely enough to make room for your sister. When you live in a house with 13 children, two dogs and a few (we never counted them) cats, you spend a lot of time skooching over.
The idea of skooching over came back to me as I was praying this morning. Using my mother’s voice (which is not fair, God), the Almighty asked me to skooch over to make room for him in my life. At first, this didn’t make any sense, because I was praying for guidance on my “purpose,” in life. I wanted God to tell me my “calling.” I was looking for the spiritual answer to the existential “Who am I?” question. And God’s response was “Skooch over”?!
Upon reflection, of course, it was obvious what He was asking me to do. My purpose is God’s purpose. We exist so that God can come into the world through our service to each other. But in order to do that, we need to empty ourselves. We need to make space within our minds, souls and bodies. As St. John the Baptist said, “He must increase; I must decrease.” (Jn 3:30). Give up what isn’t God so there’s lots of room for what is most important.
Making room for God to work through us doesn’t take away from our lives. Are you kidding?! Sit back for a second and take a couple of deep breaths. Now visualize God sitting next to you on the couch. Tell me that’s not the most awesome feeling you’ve ever had. I’ll be God’s “wing man” anytime.
God wants to be with us in the world, but He needs a place to work from. More specifically, He wants someone to work through. God does His work through us. All He asks us to do is skooch over so He has room to sit beside us.