“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35
Where do you get your energy? Where do you get your motivation and direction? For so many of us and for so much of the time we gain this sense of self from accumulating likes. These could be virtual likes such as on social-media or it could be the likes from our significant others or even random others.
The trouble with getting our inspiration from others is that we are in a constant race to both please and simultaneously outdo our neighbor. We are constantly in a mimetic race to copy others, please others and ultimately defeat others.
Jesus does not seem interested in this social game or in ‘fitting in’. In his early morning spiritual discipline (mentioned above) he came to find his motivation and perspective from an intimate, internal encounter with the creative divinity that is designed to dwell within the human spirit inspire us to be co-creative agents of love and healing.
Whether we know it or not, we are constantly bombarded with messages that try to shape us politically, buy and sell us economically and tame us to become good consumer-citizens. We are targeted and domesticated until there is very little left that looks like the joyful, loving beings that our faith describes in our creeds and scriptures.
The answer seems to be that if we are to follow Christ into the world and become agents of change, we need to follow Jesus into a quiet place where we can be still and listen to the still small voice of God that is extant in and available to each of us. We can do this in corporate prayer, but it also seems from our texts, that there is personal time necessary to pray and listen or should we say, enter into a profound sacred dialogue that gives us a core and conviction that ennobles us.
Go into that secret room, Jesus says, and your Father God who sees in secret will reward you in secret. This secret place is the sacred core of our identity that is accessed by taking intentional time away from the stressors and influencers that tend to cage us and attempt to define us.
We are more than cogs in a system, and it is through this sacred/secret dialogue of asking, seeking and knocking that the door to our truest divine nature is revealed.