Lent day 7 - #UULent reflection word: Alone
My first reaction to this word was “not another sad word.” But, of course, this is Lent. The whole purpose is to reflect on the hard parts of life and the inevitability of death. Jesus did go into the wilderness and fasted. This is part of the ritual of sacrifice during lent, to experience sacrifice of our own choosing as a spiritual practice, pushing us, maybe, closer to the Divine. Jesus often went into to the wilderness alone to pray and be nearer to the Holy.
Then it occurred to me, “I really like being alone.” In part, because it is such a rare occurrence in my life. I often think I’d love to have 40 days and 40 nights all alone, maybe not fasting, but still. The older I get and the more the challenges of life bear down upon me, the more I crave the space to be alone; to reflect and contemplate and breathe. Only when I am alone and quiet am I truly able to hear my own spirit speaking. Only then am I able to listen my my hearts longing, to the holy longing and discover a depth and peace (and sometimes agitation and rage) that need to be expressed and tended.
Alone can be painful. Studies have shown how teenagers report feeling deeply lonely and isolated at higher rates than ever before. But alone can also be beautiful. I am headed in a sabbatical in 2 weeks and am definitely planning time to be alone in the wilderness with just my thoughts and prayers and spiritual practices (and food, because I’m not ready to give that up).
The photo I chose for today was from a few days I got to spend alone in the wilderness (at a cabin) at the end of January. Yeah, there was a natural hot spring pool. We are blessed with lots of those in Idaho. It didn’t suck. It was heaven.
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Rev. Sara LaWall
Justice minded, Unitarian Universalist Minister, mother & wife serving Boise, ID