I spent the summer in the desert, did I tell you this story already? It was HOT! I went there to support mrangelmeg who had to go there for work, and because it happened to be the California desert so it was a bit of a vacation, but along with the vacation-y parts of the trip came the discomfort of the HOT sun and the HOT wind and the dust, and did I mention the heat?
Anyway, as I spent my three and a half weeks in the desert I got to thinking about the desert fathers and mothers that we have been talking about on these Mystic Mondays. They lived in the desert and they didn't have the modern conveniences like central air conditioning and automobiles and trains to make travel so convenient as they moved through the desert.
So, today I want to share some wisdom from one of these desert mothers:Blessed Hermit Susan
From the time Susan was a little child in Persia she had dreams of going off and being a hermit. She so wanted to travel to the land of the desert mystics but her family kept her from doing so because of her age; at the time she first asked she was only eight years old. A few years later she ran away, joined a caravan of women and found her way out into the desert. She stayed with them for a long time but when they were ready to return she slipped away and remained in the desert.
She joined a monastic order but she longed for the solitude of a cave away from everyone and every distraction. She found just such a cave and moved herself there and eventually lived out the remainder of her life in that type of seclusion out in the desert, away from all human companionship and distraction. For her, this was what God was calling her to do. (Swan, Laura The Forgotten Desert Mothers, 2001 Paulist Press , p100)
God is probably not calling any of us to give up everyone we know and love and move out into a cave in the desert, but God often calls upon us to do things that others might not understand; like take a lower paying job because the hours are better for the family, or the stress level is better for our health.
How many of us would be willing to give up everything if that is what we know in our hearts is what God is calling us to do? How many of us are willing to live a life of total submission to God's will? Especially when others don't understand what or why we were doing what we were doing?