Friday, October 16, 2009

Wanted: Solitude

Beep…Beep…Beep…Beep. In a swift, ninja-like move, the snooze button silences the world for 2-8 minutes before the grind begins. A friend once pondered if there was ever a point in life that you actually feel the pull of gravity or the reality of our earth spinning on its axis at a slight tilt. Everything is moving so fast. There is twitter, facebook, and other social networking sites, instant messenger programs, ways to track people on their cell phones, ability to watch television from a cell phone, and so much more that can keep one going, spinning, faster and faster, daily. Sleep is seen as an inconvenience. I used to go three days at a time with no sleep because I could just so much more done if I didn’t sleep. The early pioneers of the internet prescribed that wed be able to do the same amount of wok with less man hours with the internet. I eventually would pass out, exhausted, and sleep for days at a time. The internet has enslaved us to never ending information and flow of even more work. Eventually we will sleep out of necessity because our bodies have been so wonderfully made that we require it. Sleeping does not allow one to consciously realize that hey are at rest. So from the time we wake until we fall asleep we are running on the treadmill of consciousness that never ends. If the body needs rest so does the mind, the spirit, the soul. Rest, quite, solitude, slowing down, do these words seem foreign to you? Are they things you long for but do not feel you are able to do?

A spiritual discipline that is not often practiced, yet very powerful is simple, solitude. Whether in principle or practice solitude has its place in every life. Many people, mostly my generation, the over caffeinated, over stimulated, under rested ones, cringe at the idea of solitude. A nice lady suggested in class one night this weekend retreat place for everyone. It was far removed from society and very quiet. Some people also like living in the suburbs. I am not a solitude person in terms described above nor am I ever some one you will see enjoying the safety of a nice quiet neighborhood in the ‘burbs somewhere. This is not to take away from the need for solitude though. Solitude is not one thing, solitude can paint itself a different color on any canvas, in any life. A turbo charger is a simple and very prevailing bolt on for most vehicles. The turbo charger sucks in air very fast, creates pressure, and then blows it out for better performance. That is the most simple definition of a turbo charger you will ever find. There is so much pressure that if their were no release valve or exhaust that it would blow up, many teenagers do this on their parents buck. My mind runs like a turbo charged engine, my blog is the only exhaust I have. Solitude for me is sitting at a low key coffee shop, with my headphones blaring some classical music, reading and writing. I can not sit and be quiet because I feel my mind begins to wander and I cannot focus. I need loud music to block thoughts from my mind. It is there, at a corner table in a local coffee shop, headphones screaming, and fingers typing where I find my solitude most. I also journal. Some people do not see this as solitude, some people think I need quiet nature walks. Everyone is open to their opinion, but if you took my solitude mechanisms away from me I’d go crazy. The point here is that solitude may look different in practice for everyone, but solitude in principle does not change. Solitude is a way to center yourself, slow down and reflect. Reflection is where salvation begins so it is very important to reflect. We need to process this fast paced world and rest, whatever that looks like.

My suggestion is to follow the example of Jesus in principle, not practice. Jesus practiced solitude a lot, He practiced it within a certain atmosphere, unique personality, and specific time. Unless one can reproduce these circumstances, personalities, and times without flaw it is a failing thought to even attempt to follow Jesus’ example of solitude as a model. A quick read through any Gospel would reveal Jesus was always separating Himself and getting alone with the Father. Plane tickets are expensive right now and I don’t own a Delorian to zap myself back in time, so I cannot do what Jesus did. However, I can practice the principle that exposes itself in His life and ministry, solitude. Everyone needs to slow down and think, no matter who you are, no one can handle the amount of information coming down our path, nor the life circumstances we do not plan. To avoid becoming overwhelmed we need rest, we were designed to rest, our bodies do it naturally. We have been taught unhealthy things in our lifetime that negate this idea of solitude, but deep within us all our souls are screaming for rest, solitude, and time to reflect. I pray you will find what it is that brings you to this place, I pray you can find rest with the Father like Jesus did, in your own way, and I pray that you can be at peace with life, love God, and love people.

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