"The Bible is constantly sending people into the desert for redemption, because it's there, away from the ease of settled life, far removed from ready water, that they turn to God for sustenance." (pg. 68)
Is it true that we most often turn to God when things are unsettled? I read this quote above in Abraham: A Journey to the Heart of Three Faiths by Bruce Feiler. Also from this book, check out the words below from Father John Lyons, a Catholic priest.
"The lesson of Abraham ... [for Christians] is you have to be willing to risk it all. You have to be willing to give up everything for God. Even in the New Testament, Jesus says unless you are willing to give up husband, wife, mother, father and children, for the Kingdom of God, you are not worthy to follow me. The bottom line is if you're too comfortable, or too secure, or too into having control, then you won't be willing to trust God." (pg. 48)
Surrender issues, eh? Have I not mentioned that here recently?
Re: The Lord's Prayer ... "When you pray that 'God's will be done,' you're saying, 'All right, God, I'm prepared to do your will.' Yet most of us want to do our will, because most of us are control freaks. We want the security of knowing that we have a house, we have a job, our children are protected, we've got a savings account. And God says that's not going to bring the security you really need in life." (pg. 49)
This was more interesting to me because I'd just read an article reminding me that even though we may try to be good financial stewards, there was no guarantee of security. Rather our ultimate security is in the One who created it all and sustains us. Good reminder for me!
About the blessing of silence and getting away to spend time with God, the conclusion is "The message of Abraham is to be alone, to be quiet, and to listen. If you never hear the Call in the first place, you'll never know which way to go." (pg. 50)
Here is more getting-away-from-it-all, silence talk. I believe I mentioned that here lately as well. Hmmm.