From its invention in the early 1860s through the late 1980s, the manual typewriter was arguably the most important writing tool used for both personal and professional correspondence. With the press of a key, this mechanical device would transfer ink or make a carbon impression directly onto paper, which was often wrapped around a rotating cylinder inside.
What made the typewriter so unique, aside from the rapid sound of its key strokes, was that most of its fonts were monospaced, which meant that every character, when stroked, took up to same amount of space on paper. This resulted in a great deal of white space between not only the letters, but the words as well, making it very difficult for the reader to know when a sentence had ended.
For this reason, a double-space rule after every period was then implemented by newsroom writers and classroom teachers in order to help make their work, and the work of those they taught, more legible. This rule lasted for several years, until the emergence of the personal computer, which introduced not only hundreds of new fonts, but fonts that were proportional in type, no longer in need of double-spacing.
Yet despite the advocacy of writing associations for published work to use only one space between sentences, millions of people still cling to the old rule of double-spacing, simply because it was how they were first taught to type. Whether it is regarding the rules of writing, or the rules of living, have you ever paused long enough to discover if there are things you are clinging to that no longer have any substantial impact?
What (or whom) are you still ‘leaving space’ for that is no longer beneficial?
When sharing with the believers living in Corinth about the amazing liberty and freedom that is found in Christ, many of whom were still arguing about some old rules about what they could eat or drink, the Apostle Paul wrote these words in 1 Corinthians 10:23:
“Everything is permissible, but not everything is helpful. Everything is permissible, but not everything builds up.”
As believers, we must always take the time to examine if the spaces we are still leaving within our lives need to be deleted. Although once filled with people, passions and even occupations that seemed to fulfill a purpose, there may be a story God is writing now that no longer is need of those same keystrokes.
Whenever typing, it is important to remember that the space button and the delete button are always stroked with the same hand. It just requires a bit of stretching. Perhaps the same is true whenever pursuing what’s next.