10 December 2009

Waxing Contemplative

Wax--to grow or become as specified.

A conversation with some fellow men this morning has had me considering changes God takes us through. As an introvert, one stated that his nature leads him to desire solitude. As a salesman, he does not fit their typical gregarious personality, yet still thrives in the role. Before his conversion, he preferred quiet weekends at home, yet as he has grown in his faith, he has recognized the benefit of social engagement, indeed thriving during busy weekends spent with fellow believers.

I am opposite. Most of my life has been spent in the pursuit of others, of relationships. I have always believed that I grow most in community. Unfortunately, this extroverted tendency has led me to downplay the necessity of social reprieve and contemplation.

Cancer has forced isolation upon me. I have much less opportunity to interact with others, which carries with it a certain sadness. Most of the time, I notice my countenance darken the longer the isolation persists. This feeling is compounded as my mother-in-law helps us out because my wife, an introvert, has many of her social needs met during the day. The mother-in-law/cancer combination leaves little her with little leftover social energy.

An increased desire for contemplation was an unexpected gift. I use this God-given time to mull things over. I am able to process God's word and how it relates to my life. I am able to pray for God's will and his guidance. I pray that God uses these times as a way to deepen my faith and to draw my closer to Him and, somewhat ironically, to others.

Jesus spent much of his adult ministry literally surrounded by people, pressing in from every side. He poured His lives into them. He poured His life out for them. Yet, there is unmistakable evidence that he found time away, time to contemplate and pray. Christ recognized the importance of time alone with His father; I pray that I continue to learn this lesson.

And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.-Mark 1:35

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