"Oh, when will that blessed and desired hour come, so that You can fill me with Your presence and be to me my all in all? Until this is granted to me, I will not have complete joy." - Thomas a' Kempis
I'm almost 24 hours into my 3 days of silence and solitude.
It's killin' me to not be in touch with my wife and kids.
Really. It's amazing how addicted I am to periodic 30 second phone calls to Carrie. How accustomed I am to knowing that my wife and kids can get a hold of me any time they need to. Or just want to. I get a little stir crazy being totally inaccessible.
I'm enjoying the silence and solitude. I've been very still, slow, and deliberate. I've re-engaged The Imitation of Christ by Thomas a Kempis (there is something about that book for me), continued reading Phillip Yancy's book on Prayer, made a big deal with God about each simple meal I've eaten, slept for 10 hours last night (!), caught a turtle, some minnows, some half-developed tadpole-frogs, a Bluegill fish, chased a white-tailed rabbit, a wild turkey, saw a beautiful hawk in flight, and even encountered a Coyote.
So, I'm enjoying it. But already, I have caught myself on the verge of "cheating". I brought my cell phone with me, even though service is sparce out here on the ranch, just in case my wife needs me for some emergency. Comically, I find myself checking it, hoping there was an emergency and she has called.
She hasn't (and won't, unless it is a true emergency), but I have gotton a couple of texts from some buddies, and I mindlessly and automatically started texts to both of them before I realized cyber-contact is contact nonetheless.
I'm not trying to be legalistic or anything about this, rather, I'm trying to be aware of how much of my energy is spent "staying connected," and how much I am distracted and hindered by it. Maybe even addicted to it.
Out here on the ranch, I get to drive a cool, all-terrain, mean and green German Pinzgauer around to my various destinations of solitude and beauty. It has no gas gauge, but if it runs out, there is just enough gas in the emergency gas can to get it to town in order to fill it (and the gas can) back up. I stalled out in some mud this afternoon and was sort of hoping that it was out of gas (it wasn't). Anything for an excuse for some interpersonal action, it seems.
I might not have written about this minor phenomena I'm experiencing had I not just been struck by these challenging thoughts:
Do I get this stir crazy when I'm not in touch with Christ?
Am I equally addicted to periodic "touches" with God?
Am I accustomed to knowing that the Father can "get a hold of me" any time He needs to? Or wants to?
Do I mindlessly find myself drifting off into the Holy Spirit?
How much energy do I spend "staying connected" to Jesus?
Wow. Thoughts like these don't come to me until I disconnect from the Matrix and view it from the outside looking in. No wonder Jesus "often withdrew to lonely places to pray". He didn't want to get lost in the matrix. How easy would it have been for him to find his value in being valued by others? Or being amazing to others? Or to think his own self-promotion was the same as promoting God? Or his own self-protection was protecting God's work through him?
God is enough for me. But I forget this almost every day. Remind me, Father, every moment.
"Alas! The old nature still lives in me and is not wholly crucified, not perfectly dead." - Thomas a' Kempis