Crouch on Solitude

Andy Crouch (2017) on solitude, silence, and fasting:

The central disciplines of the spiritual life, as taught by generations of Christian saints, have stayed the same for twenty centuries now: solitude, silence, and fasting. Each of these pushes us beyond our natural limits, and all of them give us spiritual resources for everyday life that we can’t gain any other way.

Very few of us, for example, are meant to spend our lives largely alone, but there person who has not experienced or cannot bear solitude is missing an essential part of maturity. (“Let him who cannot be alone beware of community….Let him who is not in community beware of being alone” -Dietrich Bonhoeffer.) We are not meant for perpetual silence – we are meant to listen and speak. Bu the person who has not experienced or cannot bear silence does not understand what they hear and has little to offer when they speak. And of corse we are meant to eat, and even to feast, but only when we fast do we make real progress toward being free of our dependence on food to soothe our depression and anesthetize our anxieties.

The disciplines, by taking us to our very limits, gradually move those limits…

The most powerful choices we will make in our lives are not about specific decisions but about patterns of life: the nudges and disciplines that will shape all our other choices.” (pp. 36-37)

Crouch, A. (2017). The Tech-Wise Family: Everyday Steps for Putting Technology in Its Proper Place.

Powering Down

Ray Ortlund on moving from an iPhone back to a flip phone:

In the short time I have left in this life, I want maximum divine blessing, which requires calmness of heart, mental clarity, capacity for undisturbed concentration, so that I can walk in the presence of the risen Jesus rather than crawl through every day buffeted by our screamingly intrusive world. In other words, “I have calmed and quieted my soul” (Psalm 131:2).