I am currently reading the book Armchair Mystic. As I said in a previous post, this is one of the drier times of my Spiritual walk. However, this book is proving to be a great source of encouragement and growth for me.
I think when I look back at my life I notice a trend. I have used my outgoing personality as an excuse to hide from solitude with God. I get my biggest buzz from corporate worship experiences in various settings or from serving and being with people. I have admired those who appear to be "closet Episcopalians" and thought that their excercises of silence, solitude and silent retreats must be very helpful for them. But, with great certainty I have always known it was not for me. That was my first mistake!
During the current journey I am on, I have been wrestling with a new understanding of prayer and how it plays into our ecclesiology. One of our ministers is providing some spiritual direction for me as I struggle through this stuff. He suggested the book and some additional things for me to do.
This is what I love about the book. It is realistic. It acknowledges that personalities like mine will probably never fully embrace the life of a contemplative, but it explains why a personality like mine needs to incorporate aspects of the life of a contemplative. For the first time in a long time, I feel like the times I am spending with God are truly intimate and not "work."