Friday, March 18, 2011


My first real step towards my summer sabbatical begins this Monday. I will be staying in a completely secluded 1 room building in the middle of the desert north of Benson, AZ for about 7nights. No roads, no Internet, no phone, no lights, no shower! Just me, the Lord and all the stuff that my heart and mind clings to. In silence and solitude the Lord desires to clear out all that stuff we carry around and bring us just to Him.
Henri Nouwen says that we build a scaffolding around our lives - all that we lean on and depend on besides Christ, The tearing down of these scaffolds is a painful ordeal but if we persevere through it, there is a promise of clarity, rest, insight and refreshment. I am quite sure that I have been laboring hard in the past years at building my scaffolding and it is a frightful but freeing thing to lose them and be with nothing but Jesus.
Nouwen states in "The Way of the Heart" ... "the wisdom of the desert is that confrontation with our own frightening nothingness forces us to surrender ourselves totally and unconditionally to the Lord Jesus Christ."  John 15 says "Apart from Me you can do nothing!" What a great place to be. Of course, most of  us can't escape to the real desert for a week, yet I believe there must be ways to find the silence and solitude necessary to keep Jesus at the center. Again Nouwen says, "We have, indeed, to fashion our own desert where we can withdraw every day, shake off our compulsions, and dwell in the gentle healing presence of our Lord." So, whether in your car, in your bed at night, during a walk - find your desert moments that lead to refreshment.

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