Wednesday, March 25, 2009

He Leads Me Into the Desert to Speak to My Heart (Hosea 2:16)

We have been reflecting on the Desert experience in my Spiritual Direction Internship.

In the early Christian era, people went out into the desert to gain clarity. It was a way to remove themselves from the hustle and bustle and distraction of city life, so that they could focus on what was truly important.

In the desert every choice could bring life or death, so one must become attune to one's surroundings or risk a fatal fall on loose ground, or be bitten by a poisonous snake hiding among the brush. Tuning in instead of tuning out was the purpose of heading into the desert. Tuning in to God, creator of all one surveyed. Faithfulness brings life.
In the desert one learns to let go of those things that are really unnecessary and burdensome on the journey. Some things just weigh one down and make the journey slow going. One learns rather quickly what one can live without during a desert time.
In the desert one finds solitude. There one can find a place set apart for prayer and contemplation.
In the desert one can be enveloped in holy silence, cut off from the noise and distraction of daily life.
In the desert one can find stability, by regaining one's center and finding true north again which will lead to continual conversion and course corrections as needed.
In the desert one can explore the manifestation of one's thoughts because thoughts brought into the light can no longer bind and enslave one.
In the desert one's contemplation will lead to a desire for action one's action will lead to a desire for deeper contemplation on the idea of loving ones' neighbor as one's-self.

Where do you find those times of solitude in your busy life? Where do you go to seek out the Creator? Where is your desert?
h/t to mrangelmeg who sent me the beautiful picture from his own desert exile in California.

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