I read this book about some fellows in the 4th century who went out into the desert to be totally alone for years at time. Each would find a place where there would be no other people to be around or to talk with. The discipline they chose was one of silence and solitude. One of the fellows, a priest, stayed out for twenty years one time. They said that when he came back, he seemed to have learned the art of ceaseless prayer, and that his peace was like a large room into which others could be invited.
I desire that in my life.
Hurry, crowds, and noise seem to be the enemies of peace, that’s for sure. Noise is probably more than phones ringing and horns blowing. Noise is probably those things, but also the constant dialogue in our minds that will not let us rest. I say “us” because I just assume, well, that we all…you know…whatever…
If all of us went to the desert to get some peace, the desert would become a crowded place. That may not be the answer to our search… There must be a place we can go that gets us away from hurry, crowds, and noise.
So, I guess we need to find the desert within us. Have you met many people who’ve found that place?
Maybe we need to be led there in order to find it. Maybe it helps to be led there by someone who knows the way.
The carpenter’s son, a rabbi, claimed that he was the way. For years this traveling preacher wandered the highways of Israel and Samaria, inviting others into his peace. Miracles followed him, certainly, though he seemed to work those simply from a place of deep compassion. The peace he promised often came quietly to those with whom he spent time.
As He allowed them to put him to death on a tree, he offered to take all their noise with him to the grave. When he rose three days later, the noise was left behind.
This year I plan to ask Him to take my noise to the grave and leave it there. Shall we ask him together?
“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you.” (John 14:27)