This Summer our focus is on creating habits that help us to draw near to God. The hope is – through being nudged into new spiritual disciplines – we would be challenged and stretched into a deeper faith and healthier lifestyle.
This week, we are exploring the discipline of Solitude (if you didn’t listen to the sermon or need the week’s “Digging Deeper” questions, you can get them here.)
There’s a concept that is often attributed to Celtic Christianity that hinges on the idea that there are physical spaces where God’s presence is felt more than others. These places are called Thin Places and the belief was/is that they exist in the space where “heaven and earth touch.”
There’s definitely a theological debate to be had around the concept, but it can’t be denied that there are moments throughout history where the Holy collides with the mundane. Scripture is full of them — Moses on Mt. Sinai or the burning bush, Saul on the rode to Damascus, the incarnation of Jesus… The challenge is to find those times and spaces in our lives today.
I was first introduced to the Thin Place phrase while at a retreat center in the mountains. A lot of people visit this place with the intention of getting away from the daily grind or to spend time relaxing and in reflection. It’s important that we visit these places on a consistent basis, but if we want to live spiritually healthy lives we also have to learn to find Thin Places in our daily lives and weekly routines.
What does that look like for you? How can you find ten minutes, a half hour a day or a few hours a week? Can you walk on the beach, designate a chair in a room for silence, or sit under a tree in a park? Thin Places are all around us. Psalm 46 says that they exist in the midst of the chaos that so often surrounds us, that God is standing in the middle of it all and saying, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
How do you implement the discipline of solitude in your life? Where is your Thin Place?
Grace and Peace,