Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 9 of Lent :: of Mice and Men

“And Simon and those who were with Him searched for Him. When
they found Him, they said to Him,
‘Everyone is looking for You.’”
Mark 1:36-37

Researchers have found that it takes twenty times more the amount of amphetamine to kill a mouse living in solitude. But a group of mice will start hopping around and hyping each other up so much that a dosage twenty times smaller becomes lethal – so great is the effect of “the world” on mice. Also a mouse given no amphetamine at all will be dead within ten minutes of being placed in the midst of a group on the drug. In groups they go off like popcorn or fire crackers (The Life You've Always Wanted, 91).

Solitude is not merely a therapeutic place. “Solitude is the furnace of transformation,” wrote Henri Nouwen in The Way of the Heart. “Without solitude we remain victims of our society and continue to be entangled in the illusions of the false self. It is the place of conversion, the place where the old self dies and the new self is born, the place where the emergence of the new man and the new woman occurs.

“In solitude I get rid of my scaffolding:
no friends to talk with, no telephone calls to make, no meetings to attend, no music to entertain, no books to distract, just me - naked, vulnerable, weak, sinful, deprived, broken – nothing. ”

When was the last time you intentionally spent four or more hours alone in solitude and silence for the purpose of detaching from the “amphetamines” of the world and “ridding yourself of your scaffolding”?

What are the challenges for you carving out such a time periodically for solitude & silence?

Take a few moments in prayer and begin to ask God to show you if and how busyness has numbed you to His presence in your daily life. Spend some time journaling about what you and God talk about.

Look at your calendar over the next several months. Look for a half day that you could set aside to engage in Solitude and Silence. If it is not intentionally scheduled, it will likely never happen.

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