Fortress of Solitude
I was sitting on my couch the other night, doing some channel surfing, when I stumbled upon one of the classic Superman movies starring Christopher Reeve. The scene depicted on screen was his discovery of the fortress of solitude. For those of you who have seen the flick, perhaps you are familiar with this portion of the movie. For those who have not, let me do my best summarize.
The fortress of solitude is the one place where superman can find out more about who He is, and also get some much needed rest and downtime.
The question that I found myself asking was this: If superman needs a fortress of solitude, do I need one?
Now I know that superman is a fictitious character (or is he??), but there is a leadership principle at work here that I'd like to identify. Sometimes we as humans crave a space where we can discover more about who we are while resting, recharging and realigning. It's kind of like vehicular maintenance in a way. As I discover more about myself as a leader, a pastor, a husband and a friend, I'm learning that there are three facets to my personal fortress of solitude.
1. Community - my fortress of solitude includes a community of people that believe in me as a human being. They don't believe in me because I'm worthy of worship, they believe in me because that are willing to be lead, challenge, accept and love me. While there are times when my fortress of solitude does in fact need to be filled with alone time, more often than not I long for my community to support me. I want to be loved and cared for; respected and needed.
2. Results - my fortress of solitude has a purpose. I can measure it's effectiveness and value through intrinsic qualities. I look for things like authenticity, hope, encouragement, challenge and desire as a construct my fortress of solitude so that I have what I need to know that who I am is not only worth something, but also making a tangible difference in the world in which I live.
3. Creativity - my fortress of solitude is filled with trial, error, failure and success. I must be allowed to create, to dream, to experiment and to evaluate what "works" and what doesn't. Without the ability to be creative, in any sense of the world, we've ceased to be alive. The last thing our world needs is yet another duplicate...originals only please.
I recognize that this concept of a fortress of solitude is a work in progress. What I do know is that we all need a place (physical or metaphysical) where we can discover more about who we are and what we exist for...in essence, we all need our own personal fortress of solitude.
What does your fortress of solitude look like?