many years ago, i decided the staff of youth specialties were super tired. we were about to head into a busy season, and we were all running on fumes.
sounds a little like coming off a busy youth ministry summer and jumping into a new school year, right?
we decided to give everyone a 7-day weekend, a mini-sabbatical. our amazing spiritual director beth slevcove wrote some beautiful meditations for those days, and i’ve just rediscovered them. i’m going to share them in a series here on my blog, and hope you’ll take ten minutes to rest and soak in god’s love for you as you read them. here’s the sixth one:
but so much the more the report went abroad concerning him;
and great multitudes gathered to hear and to be healed of their infirmities.
but he withdrew into the wilderness and prayed.
Solitude and silence allows our insides to become spacious.
Everything needs space.
· Our minds need empty space, times of no thought, or free, random thinking without attachment and without a need for us to do something right away with our thinking.
· Our hearts (emotions) need to be aired out, not ignored or held in the tiny spaces of our fear, or shoved to the side by our busyness and overwhelm.
· Our bodies need space. When we jam them into our schedules and force them into our expectations for too long, they get sick.
Solitude is not loneliness. Loneliness is being without. Solitude is being with God and yourself.
And as Henri Nouwen reminds us, It is in solitude that we remember we are the beloved. (It is In our busyness that we forget).
Take a long hike today. Look at God in all that’s around you and notice God looking back at you.
Or sit at your favorite park bench and talk with God, or just fall asleep in His presence.
Fight the temptation to mentally head back to work early. Trust God with your responsibilities and stay in the present moment. That’s where the Holy Spirit dwells!
(photo by jonny baker)