There are a whole lot of reasons we retreat into seclusion from our fellow man. We may not want people to see who we really are, we may have been hurt, we may just not "feel pretty", we may be angry or we just may need some time alone, especially some alone time with God to get re-directed. In modern terminology, we may go into our prayer closet for those directions.
"But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." Matthew 6:6
So what is it about this closet we speak of that seems to offer protection and direction? For me, being an only child I tend to go back into it way too often because it is a place of safety, free from any chaos, judgement, and wrong decisions. When I find too many things not going well, I retreat not only for a word from the Lord, but because I won't say or do the wrong thing to my fellow man since I seem to be on a negative roll at that time.
For those who really know me they would say I am way too positive and accepting. That's good, because I don't usually let you see that other side, the one who spends timeout in that closet. But, if you can identify with me, over a period of years of building up this tendency to retreat, it adds to a feeling of loneliness and self-loathing that is not healthy.
That is why today, I am coming out of the closet! That's right, what you see is what you are going to get, the real me. And from all this closet time the reality has set in that what John Eldredge wrote in the book "Wild At Heart" about discovering the heart of a man's soul is absolutely true, a man needs:
A battle to fight
An adventure to go on
A damsel in distress to rescue
Out of the closet (which is good for the time needed, not way too often), means going hunting for us men, whether it is hunting by providing for your family, looking for deer or for a dear, or maybe as I have found out, looking for souls. Yes, that damsel in distress could just be those folks who need to find the Lord that are lost, and lately I haven't been doing a whole lot of finding, or hunting.
I have the battle, and the adventure but as I realized this weekend all the work stuff lately has shifted the purpose of my heart and it is time for me to come out of the closet and do battle again on this field of addiction and recovery. If you see a new fire in my eyes I hope it helps you too to rekindle yours if needed, and please pray for and encourage me to keep it., as I will for you.
My door which has been closed too often lately is now open, we are ready for battle!
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.