Sunday, January 9, 2022

Greg Morse @ Desiring God---Desperate For Distractions, Why We're Bad at Being Alone

January 9, 2022 Desperate for Distraction Why We’re Bad at Being Alone Article by Greg Morse Staff writer, 

A slight breeze of discomfort blows a thought through my mind: What am I doing here? The room I’ve known for years suddenly takes an awkward shape. The silence, the stillness gives everything an unnatural quality, like a deer’s head mounted on a wall. Eyes are open, yet nothing moves. 


As I finally settle into the stillness, distractions offer themselves from all sides. “My Father who art in heaven,” I begin to pray, “hallowed be thy name. In my city, exalt your name. In my life” — why are my feet so cold? 

After I tiptoe back with socks, I kneel. Where was I? 

 Oh yes. “Exalt your name in my life, Lord. And please make your kingdom come and your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” — wait, what was that sound? One of the kids? What time is it? It cannot be. 

As I glance down the hall, I notice books disjointed on the shelves beside me. Hmm, I should really read Holiness again. . . . I still can’t believe Amazon shipped the book with that damaged corner — I should have returned it. Packages, packages . . . wasn’t something supposed to come yesterday? What was it again?

 Running from Solitude 

Of late, I’ve noticed I’ve been getting worse at being alone. That sanctuary of solitude with God, a place where hours could pass unnoticed, has fallen victim to a life filled with activity. “Quiet times” have become harder to bear. Money-changers now sit in my house of prayer, noisily selling pigeons and livestock. And what is worse, I invited them in. But why?

That sanctuary of solitude with God, a place where hours could pass unnoticed, has fallen victim to a life filled with noise.” Blaise Pascal explains well enough why the unredeemed world hates silence. “Diversion. Being unable to cure death, wretchedness and ignorance, men have decided, in order to be happy, not to think about such things” (Christianity for Modern Pagans, 170). Pascal sees men without God fleeing their Creator, and themselves, at every turn. This world swirls with hustle and bustle, men busily chase what they don’t want because fallen humanity will not — cannot — endure the frowning thoughts that meet them in stillness. Thus, clamor keeps back the awful light of self-knowledge, the unwelcome truth that Adam’s race is a terminal patient, busy building vanities upon the seashore to keep him from considering that he is a creature, dying. Or as Jesus depicted, a branch withering, soon to be cast into the fire and burned (John 15:6). 

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