Sunday, March 5, 2017

Socialization and Solitude

March 5, 2017

It is different for each person, but there is a balance between socialization and solitude that I believe is crucial for our well-being. After breakfast with Matt, Jeanine, and the kids, we headed to church. Sunday mornings are always filled with lots of opportunities to socialize; we greet old friends and make new ones. This morning I introduced myself to three couples whose names I didn't know, before joining my wife for the singing. If I allow the music and lyrics to perform their slow dance in my head and heart, I am always drawn into a fellowship with God and his people that speaks deeply to me. Corporate worship has a way of reaching into those dark places in our hearts with a light that illumines the soul with grace, forgiveness, and healing. It is a reality check that helps me align my life with my true self in Christ, with others, and with God. I needed that socialization this morning.

Following worship and Sunday School, Linda needed to go to our daughter Jessie's home to help her get ready for Ian and Eliza's birthday celebration this afternoon, which gave me an hour by myself. I let Emma out and watched her run. After a couple hours being cooped up in the house by herself, she gets a bit antsy, barreling down the hillside to the creek with squeals of joy. I followed, walking the edge of the property as I have done so many times before, watching the water carrying small ice floes down the creek and over the falls. There is a beauty and serenity about it all that made me stop to listen and observe. There were no divine revelations in the flow of the water; only the realization that I was seeing something significant. The water in our creek makes its way into the Conewango which meets the Allegany which flows into the Ohio, then to the Mississippi and the Gulf of Mexico. Just a couple miles to the north is our former home in Cassadaga, where the creeks flow northward into Lake Erie, over Niagara Falls to Lake Ontario, then to the St. Lawrence and the Atlantic Ocean. Our back yard and the creek that dances along its edge are not particularly significant in world history, but we are part of the great North American Divide.

I walked the land in solitude, grateful for this little piece of real estate we call home, and for the realization it brings me that lives which are seemingly insignificant can indeed be part of that which is the divide between good and evil, justice and injustice, light and darkness. And today, I had the privilege of experiencing the divide between socialization and solitude that fed my soul today.

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