Without the regular experience of being loved by God in solitude and experiencing the deep rest of God through silence and Sabbath-keeping, we are vulnerable to leadership that is driven by a profound emptiness we are seeking to fill through performance, achievement, and powering up on our world. This unconscious striving is very dangerous for us and for those around us. It will eventually burn us out since there is no amount of achievement that will ultimately satisfy the emptiness of the human soul...
In the solitary place we are stripped of external distractions and inevitably we become aware of false patterns of thinking and being and doing that have lurked unnoticed under the surface busyness of our lives. We may even begin to see how these patterns have mis-shaped our leadership. Perhaps we glimpse an ego-driven self that is bent on control and image management. Or an empty self that is hungry to fill itself with the approval of others. We might become aware of a broken self, desperately seeking to preserve the illusion that we have it all together. Or maybe a wounded self that has spent untold energy seeking healing where healing cannot be found.
Ah, good stuff, Ruth Haley Barton and the the importance of self-examination. I am needing some of that silence and solitude--I think it is going to need to come by the discipline of "unplugging" for a day or two while on vacation.
|Feb. 2012--Remembering a beautiful place and time of solitude--I figure God sent the rain and cleared the beach just for me!|