In case you haven’t noticed (how could you not?) the world is fast, full, loud, chaotic. The chances to sit alone in contemplative silence are few and far between – that is if they exist at all. A dialed-in life (something we are all so good at) easily becomes a tuned-out life (something we all claim to abhor).
I’m spending the week with 350 teens who for 7 days (that is 168 hours; 10,080 minutes; 604,800 seconds) have no phones, no iPods, no computers, no tablets.
They are entirely un-plugged with the hope they can find their way to being completely tuned-in.
It’s a brand new phenomenon for many, one that is difficult at first but is also perhaps the sweetest gift they will receive this week: the chance to be free from all the things that keep them not just connected but also bound to the world around them.
But even better and sweeter than being unplugged for a full week is being solitary and silent for just 15 minutes – a mere sliver of time, a momentary blink of life, a single breath of being.
(But not really alone – rather more with and within and beside and around than perhaps ever before.)
In such a sweetly sacred space it becomes possible to think freely, breathe deeply, and love fully while in the presence of the mighty and gentle Creator.
We all desperately need such sacred spaces and moments, regularly nestled amidst the bustle and frenzy of life as we know it. The question is not so much how and when those sacredly spacious moments might perhaps happen (for might is as good as won’t) but rather how we will repattern our lives in such a way that those sacredly spacious moments must and will happen.
Our very lives depend on it.*** Fifteen minutes of sacred silence on the lawn at Castaway Club. At right are a Capernaum camper and her leader/buddy/friend – perhaps the most beautiful image of sacred silence a person could ever hope to witness.