I don’t drive a car very often anymore.  A commute on public transportation ensures that my time in the car is fairly limited.  My time behind the wheel is scarce.

The other night I was driving home from the grocery store, and I realized just how much I miss that solitary time.  It’s not that I’d like a really long driving commute, but I miss the solitude of thinking while driving down the road.  I don’t listen to music in the car very often anymore, but when I do, I realize how rarely I belt out a song now.  (Because singing is not my gift, I reserve the belting for when I’m driving alone.  You’re welcome.)  There have been times in my life that certain songs felt like my most vulnerable way of communicating to God what was in my heart.  Thanksgiving.   Frustration.  Love. Desperation.  Awe.  I needed an outlet where I could spill over with passion.  As silly as it may seem, I found it behind the steering wheel of my little Honda.

But, for better or worse, my life is lived much less privately during this season.  Working at a cubicle instead of inside an office.  Washing my laundry with the couple next door.  Displaying whatever I’m reading on the train to the commuter sitting next to me.

Our time at seminary has restored a communal part of our lives that was rare during our first few years out of college.  It has been incredibly meaningful for us to recapture something that was a formative part of our college days, and to do it in the context of our married life.  I don’t hesitate to say that we needed it.

But I’ve recognized recently how critical it is that I also have a place where I can get away.  I’m definitely a homebody, and I love the comfort I find within those four walls, but I’m talking about something different.  I’m talking about a place that invites authenticity, a place where I am my truest self.

Maybe you can chalk it up to my introverted nature.  Maybe I’m the only one that feels like this.  But I tend to think that I’m not the only one who needs this.

There is something inherent in our current society that has us on autopilot.  And we are so far gone that we don’t even realize what we’re missing.

We desperately need places that allow us to bring forth the deepest parts of ourselves.  But we are numb to this fact, and so we continue to consume, trying to conjure thoughts and feelings that will satisfy this longing.  We stuff ourselves full of  books, sermons, songs, and lots of time with church folk, but never realize that our souls are desensitized, imprisoned to a whirlwind pace and the endless pursuit of more.  But we find ourselves with less.  We end up isolated, and we have no idea why.

We were made for communion.  We were bought for true fellowship.

Though we have access to more knowledge than possibly any other believers on the planet, we are still confused and groping in the dark for Him.

We must find the place where we can find our voice again.

He is waiting for us there.

“Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.  I will be found by you,” declares the Lord, “and will bring you back from captivity.”  (Jeremiah 29:12-14)