Image by Ferran. via Flickr
I have been thinking recently about baggage and how our modern life can become so weighed down with this and that and the other. We're busy, running from one place to another and even our leisure time is packed full of things to do. I have a list of recorded TV programmes as long as your arm and at the back of my mind I wonder when I am ever going to get around to watching them. The mobile phone feeds me constant distraction and the emails that pour into my inbox have to be seen to be believed! It seems to me that it is becoming harder and harder to turn the heart towards God in our busy and distracting world.
On my recent retreat I found myself sitting in the library doing nothing. I mean doing nothing. For a whole hour! I just sat alone with my thoughts. I'm not even sure I was praying as such. Being in a secluded retreat house enabled me to do just that and as simple as it was, it was something I shall never forget, a moment in time.
A few days ago the BBC showed a programme called Extreme Pilgrim. It documented the journey of a parish priest who decided to spend 3 weeks alone is a desert cave after the example of St Anthony. It was an extraordinary glimpse into what happens when we are indeed stripped of everything that occupies us, physically and emotionally. There was a part of me that cried out for such an experience, however difficult and painful. For this is the path to God. Letting go of everything that holds us so that we might be held by Him. May God give us grace to see what holds us and enable us to let go. May we be able to take those moments of solitude and quiet that He gives us and make the most of every opportunity.