The Pastor's Buzz

Pastor Buzz Trexler's blog for God's people in The Meadow.

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Name: Buzz Trexler
Location: Knoxville, Tennessee, United States

Journalist for 29 years; married to Donna for 28 years; parent of David, 27, and Elizabeth, 24; pastor of Green Meadow United Methodist Church in Alcoa since 2002.

Friday, January 13, 2006

Coming out of the desert ...

I am currently coming out of a desert experience that will likely be shared at some point.

Part of what is helping is being drawn again to that imtimate relationsip with God that can only come through solitude.

In his book, "The Way of the Heart: Connecting With God Through Prayer, Wisdom, and Silence," the late Henri Nouwen writes:
"Solitude .. is the place of purification and transformation, the place of the great struggle and the great encounter. Solitude is not simply a means to an end. Solitude is its own end. It is the place where Christ remodels us in his own image and frees us from the victimizing compusions of the world. Solitude is the place of our salvation." (p22)

I have let the world draw me from those places of solitude, leading me into the desert -- 'a dry and thirsty land where there is no water.' It continues to beckon, but my spirit resists.

In a section called "The Compulsive Minister," Nouwen writes:

"Thomas Merton writes in the introduction to his 'The Wisdom of theDesert: 'Society ... was regarded (by the Desert Fathers) as a shipwreck from which each single individual man had to swim for his life ... These were men who believed that to let oneself drift along, passively accepting the tenets and values of what they knew as society, was purely and simply a disaster.'

Nouwen says, "The basic question is whether we ministers of Jesus Christ have not already been so deeply molded by the seductive powers of our dark world that we have become blind to our own and other people's fatal state and have lost the power and motivation to swim for our lives. ... Thus we are busy people just like all other busy people, rewarded with the rewards which are rewarded to busy people!" (pp11-12)

It is time to "swim for our lives!"

Grace and peace ...