Invitation to Solitude & Silence * Book Open House #2

Well, wow, friends!

Welcome back to our 2nd Invitation to Solitude & Silence Book Open House.  The first gathering far exceeded my hopes, in the depth of our conversation as well as the sheer number of readers.

Thanks for your willingness to not only to spend a bit of your valuable time with us, but to vulnerably share snapshots of your spiritual stories and perceptive impressions, even if you wrestled a bit with doing so.

An incredible influx of your Facebook friends have come to call in the past week ... and last Friday we hit a huge one day record in visits, the highest number I've seen in 11 years of blogging.  Please know that I'm all kinds of grateful and inspired and encouraged by what's happening around here.

I praise God for what He's doing, I so appreciate you inviting your friends along for the ride, and am excited to welcome all you newcomers to this community.

You're telling me you're thirsty, yearning for something more of who God is and you're on a journey to figure out how to best embrace a deeper intimacy with Jesus Christ, the Lover of your soul.  Sure sounds like we're all in the same boat, headed in the same direction.

Onward.  Inward.  Upward.

Let's keep the dialogue flowing forward, keeping in mind that this is a safe place where iron sharpens iron.  And while we talk honestly, we do so with gentleness, kindness and grace. 

Chapter 3 - Resistance
It's one thing to read Bible verses about casting our cares on God.  It is one thing to sing worship songs that say, 'He is able, more than able to accomplish what concerns me today.'  It is quite another to actually place those things that we care about so deeply in God's hands for a little while so we can give Him our undivided attention.

This letting go is so challenging that many of us need help with it.  When I am guiding people into their initial experiences with solitude and silence, I ask them to actually list the cares and concerns weighing on them in the moment on a piece of paper.  Then I invite them to place the page in an envelope marked TRUST and set the envelope aside as a concrete symbol of giving these things over to God's care as they move into solitude.  The concreteness of this act helps them to actually let go of the baggage they have brought with them so they can settle into God's embrace.

Chapter 4 - Dangerously Tired
Dangerously tired is an atmospheric condition of the soul that is volatile and portends the risk of great destruction.  It is a chronic inner fatigue accumulating over months and months, and it does not always manifest itself in physical exhaustion.  In fact, it can be masked by excessive activity and compulsive overworking.  When we are dangerously tired we feel out of control, compelled to constant activity by inner impulses that we may not be aware of.  For some reason we can't quite name, we're not able to linger and relax over a cup of coffee.  We can't keep from checking voice mail or e-mail 'just one more time' ... or we can't stop cleaning or doing repairs and projects in order to take a walk in the evening or be quietly available to those we love.

While our way of life may seem heroic, there is a frenetic quality to our activity that is disturbing to those around us.  When we do have discretionary time, we indulge in escapist behaviors - such as compulsive eating, drinking, spending, watching television - because we are too tired to choose activities that are truly life-giving.

If you were one of those readers who shared 
the Book Open House on FB,
 I sure would love to know 
so I can give you {and your website}
a shout out!

The 3rd out of the 6 gatherings
will begin next Thursday, February 15th -
 we'll be discussing chapters 5 & 6.

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