103 E. Desolate Place

by DanWolgemuth on April 1, 2011

This weekend Mary and I will load our bikes in our 2002 Chrysler Town and Country and head off for a few days.  This break coincides with our anniversary so it’s perfect timing.

I’ve scoped out the destination, and made reservations at the hotel… but a couple of days ago Mary upped the ante. Without looking to be either controversial or difficult she wondered/challenged/appealed for us to do these days unplugged. It wasn’t an ultimatum, but rather an invitation… to really get away.

My first instinct was to negotiate; and so I did. “Once a day, just to stay on top of things.” “But what if somebody really needs to get to us?” “I can relax while I’m still plugged in! Really.”

Every line, every excuse, every rationalization seemed like dry timber in a blazing fire. As I viewed the ashes of my own logic, I was confronted with the starkness of my own need to remain in touch. This logic had more to do with me than anyone else.


“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he
departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.”
~ Mark
1:35 (ESV)

The first chapter of the book of Mark identifies a pattern of Jesus that I have yet to scratch the surface of; He set a pace; He established a model… to go to a “desolate place.” Is there such a thing? Does the address still exist… 103 E. Desolate Place?

If it does exist, it’s a place that I’ve avoided for a long time. I’ve certainly gone on day trips to the desolate place… but days there; are you kidding?

And so, under the conviction of my own conflicted heart, I said “yes.”

I said yes to more, not less. I didn’t say yes to misery and boredom and isolation… I said yes to quiet reflection; to intimate conversation; to uninterrupted focus; to the whisper of the Spirit.

Call it my Lenten Fast… but call it a gift and not a sacrifice.

Is a desolate place on your GPS? Are you past the point of letting go? Can you, could you… would you; will you?

To hear from the Father. To wait. To listen. To pray. To love.

A desolate place.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Melissa Stoner April 3, 2011 at 11:27 AM

About a year ago while vacationing in Belize a friend helped me to receive this gift. It truly was a gift! I was able to reflect on why I so need to be connected and also receive the freedom of not being connected to technology. For this and other reasons it was the most restful vacation I’ve ever taken. May it be so for you and Mary.


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