Seclusion and fellowship might be polar opposite from each other. One has to deal with being alone with himself. The other one is connecting with others. It’s somewhat defiant to one another when we place them together. This is a paradox but in the Christian perspective, seclusion is fellowship and fellowship is seclusion. Let me explain.
Seclusion for a believer is not having all of yourself. It’s having yourself and Him. You need a guide. His Word provides the compass and He with His sovereign power provides the map. You can find this “seclusion” in a form of quite time. Alone but not really alone.
Fellowship in the other hand, is seclusion. When we connect with other believers, we identify ourselves as pilgrims of this world. We are just passing through along with other Christians. When we worship together as a church, we declare that we are God’s children and we differ from other people. Santification is a step towards not being conformed to this world. So we separate ourselves. We can’t do this without the participation of our fellow pilgrims. Santification is indeed a community project. Don’t forget we can see that also in evangelism, prayer, worship and reading the Bible. We are more powerful to make an impact to the body of Christ and to the world, when we are banded with our fellow Christians.
The common denominator to these is that they are not alone. Both in seclusion and fellowship, God is there.
There’s a book I recently finished that is part allegorical and part memoir is somewhat similar to that seclusion and fellowship thing that I have said. Misplaced is a spiritual journey of going through difficulty and personal growth. What could be a simple escape from the characters demanding business life, becomes a life changing moment for Misplaced (yes that’s the name of main character).
Like what I have said it’s part allegorical which is a bit similar to Pilgrim’s Progress and Hinds’ Feet on High Places. Names of the character which are part of hiking trip are replaced with names like Misplaced, Wisdom, Loyalty, Faith, Strength and Resolve. The backcountry is called Here and There. It’s part memoir because the characters and the backcountry adventure are real (the picture of them on the end part of the book adds some tug in the heart).
Being aforementioned an allegorical story, you might be finding metaphors and symbolism in every twist and turn of the story, in every details. Each chapter titles sometimes are spoilers to what Misplaced will learn. The names designated to the charaters are take aways of their traits that will influence Misplaced as he takes his struggle in this camping weekend. You can find also life lessons in there conversations.
Misplaced is a relatable character. We can see instances as the book shed off some details about him. You might feel that the author is writing about you (or some you know.) The big reveal is on the later part of the book which indicates his predicament is not just a gloomy business but more of himself. Just when you thought the author reveal all that was needed to be know from Misplaced and by then you’re enjoying the book already, then ventures to this part of Misplaced’s life.
The author tries to remind readers that this is not a Bible study or devotional book. He even tells that the story of the book fits in secular settings. Nevertheless, this book has to do with spirituality, the character is a Christian and the author provides guided questions with Bible verses at the end part of the book. For me, it’s somewhat in the middle but not explicity”a fits all” type.
Misplaced is a great read in itself, so for that I gave the highest rating despite the lack of biblical meat. It has this “mere spirituality” thing but still have insights that will stir your soul. Relatable and a light read, a spiritual journey that’s penetrating, Misplaced is a book that you’ll give a shot and be satisfied.
5 out of 5
Get the book by clicking here.
Review copy of the book was provided by Wipf and Stock Publishers.
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