When Life and Beliefs Collide
October 16th, 2011
When Life and Beliefs Collide is a book title. It’s a great book written by Carolyn Custis James. It’s a book that opened my eyes to how we neatly put things in boxes and make everything rather black and white. That’s easy to do if you live in a bubble. Last time I checked most of us don’t. When we actively engage in ‘living’, often our beliefs are challenged, there is tension, because what we thought to be true doesn’t always work out the way we believe it should.
I’m not talking about big theological issues. I’m talking about the last 3 weeks of my life, and how I’ve barely had time to breathe. Multiple times I’ve said to my husband Mike, “When this week is over I can take a breath.” But you know what? Next week comes along with equal or more force to it. My dilemma is, ”How do I live out the theology of Sabbath in the midst of non stop life?”
I’m more convinced than ever before that solitude is an essential spiritual practice in our world filled with television, home phones, cell phones, iPods, iPads, computer video games, hand held video games, gaming system games, facebook, twitter, and I’m sure, something else that has just been invented that I don’t even know about yet!
I can hear you right now yelling, maybe screaming, “How can I have solitude with so much coming at me, and you only mentioned electronics? What about babies and toddlers and teenagers, and oh yeah, my husband, my church, and my friends (O, I actually don’t have any because I don’t have time for them).
I’m not here to give you an answer that will wipe away all the roadblocks to solitude. Rather I’m here to challenge you to start small, just to start at all. If we don’t decide it is a priority, the hamster wheel will never stop.
Let me speak briefly to women in different stages of life. Moms of babies and toddlers. When you put them down at night. Tell your husband you are beginning a spiritual practice and you need 5 or 10 minutes alone. Find a comfortable spot and sit, take some deep breaths, and say, “Lord, I’m here with you. Please be here with me.” You don’t have to ‘do’ anything, just sit and listen and sense his loving presence. I hear your other questions, “What will happen as I sit?” I don’t know, and really, it doesn’t matter. Jesus will be right there with you.
Empty nest mom, or mom of teenagers. We do have it easier. We have more options of when we can practice this spiritual discipline. We just need to tell those around us to please give us some space and alone time. Bottom line. We need to make time for this, for the sake of our spiritual health. As you are able, increase the amount of time you spend in solitude.
I’d love to hear how God meets you there.