Solitude


I am reading a great book right now for the second time. It is titled "Reaching For The Invisible God" by Philip Yancey. I highly recommend this book. It makes you think.

Here is an excerpt from Chapter 9 "Personality Profile".

I have learned one absolute principle in calculating God's presence or absence, and that is that I cannot. God, invisible, sovereign, who according to the psalmist "does whatever pleases him," sets the terms of the relationship. As the theologian Karl Barth insisted so fiercely, God is free: free to reveal himself or conceal himself, to intervene or not intervene, to work within nature or outside it, to rule over the world or even to be despised and rejected by the world, to display himself or limit himself. Our own human freedom derives from a God who cherishes freedom.

I cannot control such a God. At best I can put myself in the proper frame to meet him. I can confess sin, remove hindrances, purify my life, wait expectantly, and - perhaps hardest of all - seek solitude and silence. I offer no guaranteed method to obtain God's presence, for God alone governs that. Solitude and silence merely supply the state most conducive to attending to the still, small voice of God. There is, however, a sure way to promote God's absence. C. S. Lewis sets it out clearly: "Avoid silence, avoid solitude, avoid any train of thought that leads off the beaten track. Concentrate on money, sex, status, health, and (above all) on your own grievances. Keep the radio on. Live in a crowd. Use plenty of sedation. If you must read books, select them carefully. But you'd be safer to stick to the papers. You'll find the advertisements helpful; especially those with a sexy or a snobbish appeal."

Lewis adds that he cannot give advice on pursuing God, having never had that experience. "It was the other way round; He was the hunter (or so it seemed to me) and I was the deer ... But it is significant that this long-evaded encounter happened at a time when I was making a serious effort to obey my conscience."

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