Lent is a time of being alone in your self without anyone judging you, criticizing you, or giving you something to take your mind off of… you. It’s a time to find your inner voice, a time to find your greatness and learn how to live it out in the great mystery of the world.
This is what the Spirit of God gave to Jesus in wilderness. He needed to be alone in his thoughts and prayers because what God was calling him to do was going to be some big stuff. He needed to remove the distractions of every day life in order to see life differently –not through his eyes, but through God’s.
We all must find time to be alone, truly alone, in order to hear God. You might not get a chance to have an entire beach to yourself or to walk alone along the shoreline of Walden Pond, but there are plenty of ways to find someplace special to be with yourself without the distractions of others to get in your way. I suggest shutting down your phone, turning off the television or radio, and then sit in your favorite chair and listen to the small noises in your home and neighborhood where God whispers to you loudly.
It might sound difficult, but remember out in that wilderness, Jesus was not truly alone. There were animals, devils, and of course some angels waiting on him (Mark 1:12-13). And on the beach I had a small group of seagulls who enjoyed the silence as we all looked out to sea. Like Jesus I knew I was not truly alone. In the heat of blinding sun, the voracity of the wind that pushed me backwards, and in the roaring ocean that pounded the shoreline with rhythmic punches, I could feel God surrounding me. And I could hear God screaming, “Stop moving. Sit here. Be still.” I did. And the heavens began to tell of God's glory.
First I listened.
Then I spoke.
Then I sang.
Then I prayed.
And sang some more.
Prayer: God, thank you for reminding me that you are always present in my life. Help me to find some quiet moments throughout the day where I can spend some time with you. And in those moments of solitude, teach me to see myself, and to be myself, without shame or embarrassment or guilt. Amen.
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