Sunday, December 21, 2008

Isolate, Not Alone

One thing I value about my wiring is the ability to be comfortable in isolation. Perhaps this is why God has blessed me with so many friends (which I am realizing how many as I address Christmas cards!) because I can keep a healthy balance in this area. Of course, too much isolation is viewed as unhealthy… yet ‘too much’ is a subjective amount.

I’ve written how people, especially Christians, give me grief about not being a big fan of socializing. So many times, I force myself to interact with others, believing it is the right thing to do. Then the next day or two, I am always resentful, bitter, and downright grumpy from having a social hang-over.

Something I read from Streams in the Dessert brought me much comfort. It explains my wiring in a ways have never been able to:

May we allow God to isolate us, but I do not mean in the isolation of a monastery. It is in the experience of isolation that the Lord develops an independence of life and of faith so that the soul no longer depends on the continual help, prayers, faith and care of others. The assistance and inspiration of others are necessary, and they have a place in the Christian’s development, but at times they can actually be an hindrance to a person’s faith and welfare.

This has become apparent in my life as I have stopped sharing personal details with an email group of 25 and limited it to 3 people. No longer do I worry about my friends forming an intervention to help me. No longer am I afraid I will lose friends who are unable to handle my ‘crisis’. I keep it between me and Jesus, and this has brought me closer to Him than ever before. So when I ‘isolate’, His presence assures me I am never alone.

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