It's the winter of 1978; a young boy and his two friends were waiting for the #642 bus to take them back to their small Yorkshire village. They have just been to the movies to see Superman, the one with Christopher Reeve in the leading role, and were doing everything in their not-so super abilities to imitate flying as they slid on the freshly fallen snow. I was inspired; I had a new hero!
My memory is vague as to what happened in most of the movie, but I do remember the icy Fortress of Solitude—thinking how cool it was, albeit sparse of any home comforts: no comfy couch, no Action Man figures, no bowls of cereal. It was a secret place for Clark Kent’s alter ego to get away, a place of refuge, a safe, secluded spot where he could prepare himself to deal with whatever potential challenge or major catastrophe was on the horizon.
We are no different (although we don't have superhuman powers or the ability to fly without aid. I guess we could walk around in tights and a cape, but I'm not so sure we'd garner the same kind of respect as the Man of Steel).
We all need our own Fortress of Solitude. I'm not suggesting we need to hike out into the middle of an icy wasteland, but we all need alone time, a time dedicated to escaping from the hustle and bustle of life, escaping social media, which robs us of solitude. Our constant desire to not miss out on what is going on with everyone else ironically makes us miss out on what we could be doing—things that are more constructive or more creative—with our time.
My personal Fortress of Solitude is the time I spend alone each morning before my wife and son get up. I get out of bed, switch on the kettle, pull out a bag of green tea, and then sit and read my Bible. The Bible talks about God being our refuge, our present help in time of trouble. Even Jesus Himself would at times go off to a secluded place and spend time alone with His Father.
I find this time of solitude essential; it's an every-morning must. A time to recharge, to prepare my heart, my mind, and my spirit for the day’s challenges.
I started this almost two and a half years ago after a good friend of mine taught about biblical meditation at a conference I was attending.
I knew if I was to become someone of real value, a blessing in people’s lives, a super husband, and a super father, I needed to spend quality time in my Fortress of Solitude, in the Bible, without the distractions of family and electronic devices. Okay, I never saw Kal-El sipping on a hot mug of tea, but I think you get the picture.
So each morning I awake and sit at our dining room table, in a not-so comfortable chair, and prayerfully meditate/study through the Bible verse by verse. I read perhaps only one or two verses and mull them over in my mind, perusing them in different translations. Then with pencil in hand, I chart down my thoughts in a notebook until those thoughts turn to prayer.
This is where I find my strength for the day, the patience to deal with the trials life throws my way, and to hopefully grow to be a hero of the faith for my wife and son.
In my next blog, I'll share more about what now accompanies my Fortress of Solitude morning routine.
Until then, I hope and pray you will find that place of Solitude with the Savior.