Thursday, June 29, 2017

"Why-Solation"

Do you enjoy times of solitude, times of "alone-ness"? Do you thrill at the idea of being in a place where the only thing you hear is the sound of the heart beating in your chest or the rhythmic monotony of your own breathing? To remain in that state for long periods of time would appear, at least on the surface, to be some sort of tortuous punishment for the human soul. After all, we weren't created to live life in isolation! Even God Himself realized the longing for relationship and companionship so He created Adam, and then later, He created Eve, for Adam. I wonder how long Adam was a "solo act" before Eve joined "the band". I imagine Adam was alone for awhile--without human companionship, that is. But after a bit, God noticed, "it's not good that man be alone....."And with that, He introduced Adam to the first totally nude, femme fatale "hottie" with a weakness for reptiles and fruit in recorded history! It seems to me that there is a place and time for solitude, but I tend to believe that it's meant to be a seasonal occurrence, not a permanent existence. Timing and seasons are such crucial parts of life, and yet often times we are completely unaware of their significance. Instead, we "ignorantly" disregard them and the lessons they teach, and choose instead to be led by emotionally driven questions, while reacting in frustration with incessant circumstantial complaining as we blame everyone or everything in sight! I am guilty of this type of behavior, so I have a sort of "first hand" view of how this mindset functions. Only recently have I started to understand the value and significance of seasonal solitude. For most of my life up until now, I have treated these "cave-like" periods in my life simply as "why-solations"--times of moaning, groaning, whining, complaining, and questioning. During these self thrown pity parties and "whoa is me fests" I tried to manipulate circumstances and people as a desperate attempt to try and fill up the "emptiness", self described "boredom" and solitude with SOMETHING or SOMEBODY, even sympathy from others to gain relief from this "solo hell". In the process of becoming "empty", I am discovering the beauty and healing power in being "set aside in silence". The beauty isn't seen in the circumstance, status symbolism, or from the perspective of others, but it's experienced as Love Himself calls me away from the clamor, clutter, and confusion of the masses into the noiseless whisper of intimacy with Him. Only in isolation can we learn to recognize the gentle "nudgings" and unmistakable "whims" from the Lover of our soul. I've been married for almost 28 years to an absolute "goddess". Her voice and her laugh are immediately recognized by that one special frequency of my heart reserved only for her. Even in a multitude, I can pick her voice out and recognize the words of my soul mate. The recognition of her voice comes so easy now, because of the times we have spent alone--talking, laughing, whispering, singing, and yes, even an occasional "fuss or two". I learned her voice in intimacy, in solitude away from the noise and expressions of meaningless ramblings that life is full of. Intimacy and time spent alone has created such a depth of relationship that many times, we don't even have to say anything to know what our hearts are communicating. This kind of "oneness" and simpatico-like connection wasn't built in the busyness of crowds, frantic activity, or in the limelight of an audience. It was developed in isolation. I was reminded of the beautiful expression from scripture where Jesus said that His "sheep" KNOW His voice and follow Him. What a confident certainty it is to KNOW, not guess, not speculate, but to KNOW His voice! That's where I want to live! To learn the voice of Love Himself requires these sometimes painful, "lonely" seasons of solitude where our focus is simply listening alone and relaxing into living loved. The times of community, crowds, fun, social engagement, and living life out loud are wonderful! We cherish them, and value them. But the meaning and the substance that makes THOSE times worthwhile are developed in the quiet embrace of Love Himself, in intimacy and surrender, held closely by the perfect timing and seasonal wisdom of Love Himself.

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