Tuesday, January 7, 2014

When in silence and solitude

Silence is amazing and I need it for my mental health. 

Cayambe-Coca National Park, mountain view
Jesus Christ is always unyielding to my claim to my right to myself. The one essential element in all our Lord’s teaching about discipleship is abandon, no calculation, no trace of self-interest. Oswald Chambers - Disciples Indeed, 395 L
I've always enjoyed being in silence, at home, in nature, any secluded place I can find.

Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God,
that he may exalt you in due time
1 Peter 5:6

The silence gives me the opportunity to meditate, to be in a constants prayer in the presence of God.

In Finland there are vast green areas for recreation.

We are very proud of our forests and lakes.

And they are free for everyone.

Even in the capital of the country, Helsinki, the nature isn't far away.

There are big parks in the city, forest around it and the sea is everywhere.

There is always a place to be alone, in silence, listening your thoughts and sounds of nature.

We Finns appreciate silence and solitude.

When I came to Ecuador I was amazed by the nature.

The green of trees and plants everywhere, the majestic Andes around me, the way that stubborn life would break through the thickest slab of concrete.

“We went down into the silent garden.
Dawn is the time when nothing breathes,
the hour of silence.
Everything is transfixed, only the light moves.”

― Leonora Carrington
It felt so easy to be thankful, to glorify God, and exalt His holy name.

But one of the hardest things to get used to in Ecuador was that I never could be alone in silence in the nature. 
beach, waves

 “Love and faithfulness meet together; righteousness and peace kiss each other”
PSALM 85:10 (NIV)

There are always people around.

There is nature, everywhere, all around, beautiful nature, but there are always people as part of that landscape.

Finland is so much smaller and there is so much space to be by yourself. 

And here it's a luxury that I just can't afford.

But for me solitude and silence are not luxuries.

They are like air and water, essential for my survival.

Only in the silence and solitude I can hear my thoughts, see clearly who I am, who is this person inside my skin.

And, I thought, only in silence and solitude I can really experience God.

I also need to be alone with myself to be able to know myself, and learn to like myself.

I think that by knowing ourselves, we know our boundaries.

It is important to be self aware, to understand yourself, forgive yourself and accept yourself, and your boundaries. 
Loja, Ecuador

The Christian does not think God will love us because we are good,
 but that God will make us good because He loves us.
C. S. Lewis

Understand how small you are compared to a vast God and His enormous love and forgiving.

It has been a long road.

There has been setbacks and frustrations.

I had to learn that I can meditate inside four walls, I don't always need nature to do it.

That I can pray when there are other people in the house.

That I can exalt God bit by bit, taking care of needs of my son, and returning then to  praise and my prayer life.

That when I go deeper, it is more painful but with time it becomes easier.

And with time I can experience more of God's love.

With the time comes the joy.

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