In the wilderness, life is stripped of distractions. It is quiet. The topography demands discipline, simplicity, and fierce attention. Solitude in the wilderness makes irrelevant all the people-pleasing habits that have become interwoven into your personality. “What happens when a ‘gifted child’ finds himself in a wilderness where he’s stripped of any way of proving his worth?” asks Belden Lane in Backpacking with the Saints.

“What does he do when there’s nothing he can do, when there’s no audience to applaud his performance, when he faces a cold, silent indifference, if not hostility? His world falls to pieces. The soul hungry for approval starves in a desert like that. It reduces the compulsive achiever to something little, utterly ordinary. Only then is he able to be loved.” Solitude in the wilderness changes your experience of time. Normal life happens in ordinary time—the commute to work / do the dishes sense of time. But the wilderness marks time in eons; nothing changes quickly.

David Brooks, The Second Mountain, Random House Publishing Group, 2019, p.40.

Looking for More Inspiration?

Don’t Miss

The Lates From Our Blog

Check out articles, featured illustrations, and book reviews on all different topics related to ministry.

Book Review: Bono’s Surrender

We were 25 pubescent 13-year old boys in music class stuck to the straight-backed plastic chairs by our sticky sweat following a raucous hour of physical education at the parochial school we attended. We’d have a lecture on music theory, sing some corny songs, and...

The Banshees of Inisherin Movie Review

Ah, but a man's reach should exceed his grasp,  Or. what's a heaven for?"  Robert Browning A part of our desire at The Pastor’s Workshop is to help pastors connect the stories in our culture with the stories taking place in culture. This is a somewhat fraught...