From my diary; day two of retreat

(Before I begin with the diary entry, I should explain that part of the purpose of the retreat was to create a sort of social and occupational ‘desert.’ Although I had some work each day, and a little contact with the land-owner around that work, I was faced each day with hours of emptiness, and no entertainment, social obligations or even spare food to fill it with. It was just me and … the emptiness. A desert.)
I realised as I walked that this ‘desert’ is to some extent neutered by my implicit knowledge that I would soon be returning home again. That knowledge makes this experience into a temporary disruption, an inconvenience and an irritation to be endured. So I asked myself what I would do if this desert was the whole of my reality? My response was "Keep on walking until I met you." – which raises questions about who was doing the asking?
I had no fear that that meeting would not take place. I knew that I should meet God in the desert. And that all of the emptiness of the desert, in the light of that meeting, would be found to have been filled with his presence.
So now I know what to do with this emptiness – keep walking into it in the expectation of meeting God.
And I know too what to do with life away from the desert; it must be seen in the light of desert time, not vice versa. That is, I must see ordinary time as a different way of walking in the desert, not see desert time as a different way of living everyday life. In other words, all of life must be filled with the awareness of the emptiness and this expectation of meeting.

This knowing of God through expectation in emptiness – I wonder if I can or should allow this way of relating to define my relations to people also? Tolerating the emptiness in an expectation of eventual meeting that will colour all these voids with meaning?

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