Jesus Creed

Jesus Creed

Lengthening our Memory 9


This post concludes our series with Chris Hall, author of Worshiping With the Church Fathers
, a book that examines how the earliest fathers — theologians and pastors and leaders — understood spirituality. Eucharist and baptism, prayer, and withdrawal are Hall’s major themes.

His last chp examines what the fathers learned when the withdrew into the desert, and it leads me to a set of questions:
Have you ever had a period of withdrawal? What did you learn? What did you expect and what did you gain? Any wisdom?

The desert was a school room, a cell, a church, a garden and a cemetery.
In essence, it was a place where many sought to find the center of life, to re-center themselves on God, and to find new perspective on the spinning of the world around us. In fact, Hall says the goal was to learn to love God and to love others in returning to ordinary life. This involved embracing the truth about themselves.
So the desert involved these things:


1. A movement from self-deception to self-awareness.
2. It was a training ground for good works.
3. It was exercise in spiritual warfare.
Hall closes with a sketch of desert fathers’ sayings:
On quiet, on not judging, on lust, on patience and fortitude, and on discretion.
This is a good book; it’s been a good ride through Hall’s sketch of the spirituality of the fathers.
Comments read comments(3)
post a comment

posted February 15, 2010 at 12:50 am

Sure I’ve withdrawn. But usually not for holy reasons. I have been selfish. I have been hurt. I have been prideful.
I pulled back. And always, God brings me home and I’m the better man for it. But it isn’t always easy
Red Letter Believers
Salt and Light

report abuse


posted February 15, 2010 at 3:23 am

One thing I’ve found when withdrawing is that my whole system needs some time to adjust to the rythm that follows such days. Even to the point that I can’t sleep until middle of the night the first day because my body is not used to so little activity. Wich I guess is a good point on the way to self-awareness.

report abuse


posted February 15, 2010 at 11:09 am

I agree with Elling. Usually when I do withdraw, I’m physically, mentally and emotionally exhausted (as I am now) and it takes a while for the body and mind to adjust. But the rest is needful and once I get that and get some refreshment, I have a renewed sense of purpose and sometimes I get some things resolved (decisions, bad feelings, etc.). The Lord is certainly faithful to meet us. I’m in the midst of a very busy time at church, but I’ve decided to withdraw next week and will not be attending any meetings. Others can make decisions and lead in my absence and it’s actually a good thing to do for the ego, lest I find myself getting all wrapped up in the process thinking that “I can’t take time off now” and “I must be there”. Hogwash! Maybe me stepping away from the process is actually what is needed at this time–not just for me but for the good of the process and for others.

report abuse

Post a Comment

By submitting these comments, I agree to the terms of service, rules of conduct and privacy policy (the "agreements"). I understand and agree that any content I post is licensed to and may be used by in accordance with the agreements.

Previous Posts

More Blogs To Enjoy!!!
Thank you for visiting Jesus Creed. This blog is no longer being updated. Please enjoy the archives. Here are some other blogs you may also enjoy: Red Letters with Tom Davis Recent prayer post on Prayables Most Recent Inspiration blog ...

posted 11:15:58am Aug. 16, 2012 | read full post »

Our Common Prayerbook 30 - 3
Psalm 30 thanks God (vv. 1-3, 11-12) and exhorts others to thank God (vv. 4-5). Both emerge from the concrete reality of David's own experience. Here is what that experience looks like:Step one: David was set on high and was flourishing at the ...

posted 12:15:30pm Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Theology After Darwin 1 (RJS)
One of the more important and more difficult pieces of the puzzle as we feel our way forward at the interface of science and faith is the theological implications of discoveries in modern science. A comment on my post Evolution in the Key of D: ...

posted 6:01:52am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Almost Christian 4
Who does well when it comes to passing on the faith to the youth? Studies show two groups do really well: conservative Protestants and Mormons; two groups that don't do well are mainline Protestants and Roman Catholics. Kenda Dean's ...

posted 12:01:53am Aug. 31, 2010 | read full post »

Let's Get Neanderthal!
The Cave Man Diet, or Paleo Diet, is getting attention. (Nothing is said about Culver's at all.) The big omission, I have to admit, is that those folks were hunters -- using spears or smacking some rabbit upside the conk or grabbing a fish or ...

posted 2:05:48pm Aug. 30, 2010 | read full post »


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.