I was thinking today of the deep sense of belonging I have when, after I am able to find the quietness in me, I can be still long enough to ‘enter’ God’s presence. All I need is a moment, and the weight of the world falls from my shoulders and I remember once again who I am… and that I have some value… and an important job to do.
I am not sure what your typical day looks like but mine is mostly one of chaos in which I am constantly battling my way through a jungle of work, stress, finances, emotional ups and downs, fatigue, ‘getting older’, other people’s expectations of me and my own distorted view of the path ahead.
When David so beautifully wrote “Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere…” he knew what he was talking about.
We are each designed to be an important part of a puzzle… of God’s great plan. The plan doesn’t make sense unless all the pieces of the puzzle are in place.
I need you to be you as much as you need me to be me.
We spend so much of our time not really knowing who we are or believing the lie that we don’t have anything of value to offer our community… and or we see more value in another and so then we try to be like him or her… and that doesn’t work… no matter how hard we try.This is why… the one moment alone with our “Dad’ is so imperative.
Without water we dehydrate, without oxygen we suffocate, and without some aloneness with His spirit we depreciate our own spirit, our identity and our value to each other.
So please do me a favor will you… put down your phone… and take a stroll along the beach or sit for a few minutes in the garden or hide yourself away in the attic, or turn off the car radio on your way home from the office… and be silent and try to enter that mysterious place of welcome, of identity, of permission… to be encouraged, to be reminded of the simplicity of who you are and how valuable you are to the rest of us.
Sometimes we have to wait a long time to receive an answer….. often years…. and after a while the question, desire, need or quest may have changed or been forgotten…. because we have changed and the answer we first sought is now quite irrelevant or… it just doesn’t matter anymore.
I am inspired by the 4th century desert fathers and mothers…. ordinary people who chose the way of the hermit…. sensing to leave behind all their belongings, their friends, their reputations, their dreams…. they embraced a life of solitude in the deserts of Egypt, Palestine and Syria. Of course public opinion raged against them….. they were deemed crazy…… and though many were poorly educated peasants, former slaves and prostitutes, some of these and prostitutes, some of these men and woman were giving up vast incomes, houses, careers and good family names….. all in the search of something better……. something they knew they couldn’t find in their current lifestyles.
And…. after battling through years of loneliness, poverty, self sacrifice and inner torment….. these hermits…. these “losers” found joy in their waiting….. and many who had once mocked their poor ‘decision making’….. were soon reaching out to them for help…… traveling many miles across deserts….. even traversing continents just to sit for a few moments at the feet of a ‘wise one’. Some of these new ‘pilgrims’, these seekers of truth were actually the Kings, Princes, and the wealthy and the noble…… the movers and the shakers.
Of course most of the ‘new seekers’ returned home disappointed because they were not given the answer they desired.
Busy people demand immediate solutions to their problems.
No the desert fathers and mothers were prone to offer suggestions like this ….. “friend, consider the farmer….. he understands the seasons… first he sows… then he waters…. and then waits patiently, allowing nature do work all things together in perfect harmony… in its own time.”
Waiting isn’t easy…. if it were… well… anyone could do it.