Hidden desert, Australia
For various reasons I was making one of these life line charts. Along the x axis you write your age (0 – 40?) in 5 year increments. Above the y axis you write the times you have felt supported. Below the line you write the times you felt alone. After feeling gloomy and affronted about those times I depicted as 'below the line' I began to notice that those times were usually the times I have experienced a real seismic change in my understanding of God.
What am I saying? Do I want to feel lonely or deserted? No, I don’t! But there is something about desert or wilderness experiences, isolating though they may be, that can confront us with realities that bring us closer to truth. Is it because being alone with our selves brings space for God to come closer? Maybe the Benedictine Christopher Jamison of Worth Abbey is saying something similar when he says "Silence (loneliness?) is a gateway to the soul, and the soul is the gateway to God."