The Quest For En Gedi


The last two years of my life have been good ones for learning about home.

Home is a crazy important thing, eh? I don’t think I knew that until just under a year ago when home stopped being home to me.

I’ve always been slightly introverted. It isn’t always easy for people to see that about me because I’m not shy or difficult to talk to, and that’s generally expected of introverts.

The truth is that introverts don’t dislike people. We just need time alone to recharge because our energy is drained by people and refilled in solitude.

Let’s look at me like this:

I’m a teacher, which means I’m around students all day. My job is public-speaking, students and planning.

also

I have a lot of close friends and am heavily involved in my church, so there are very few days when I just go home after work and settle in for the evening; most of my time involves other people. Therefore, my idea of home is not social. When I get home, I want to put something on tv or play a video game and NOT TALK.

That doesn’t mean that I don’t like the people I live with. It doesn’t mean that I don’t care about their problems or what happened to them in the day.

It DOES mean that my definition of home is quiet. It also means that my definition of home requires that I finally tend to my own needs because I have a job and a life that are about others.

The reason I’m thinking about this is because Shasta and I are starting the search for our future home. Today, we got breakfast with a really nice girl named Roxanne, and we took a look at her house, where we might live with her.

We talked about any number of things: rent, utilities, pets, paint colors, etc… but the truth is that I’m on a quest for En Gedi and nothing else.

For those of you who don’t know, En Gedi (or Ein Gedi) is this little oasis (I think by the Dead Sea), surrounded by desert. Mark Driscoll uses it in a few of his sermons to talk about home. Basically, he says that spouses should make an effort to discover each others’ ideas of En Gedi, and make them into reality for at least thirty minutes after each of them gets home. This stereotypically means the wife meeting her hubby at the door with a beer and letting him watch sports for thirty minutes before she tells him about the leaky faucet. For me, it means at least thirty minutes of not talking or thinking. I also want to lay down. Sometimes I want a snack.

For the past two years, my quest for En Gedi has been an absolute failure because my roommates’ ideas of En Gedi involve discussions about everything in the world. One of my current roommates walks in the door and starts talking before she puts her stuff down. She talks for almost exactly thirty minutes, then runs off to do something else. The other roommate has a different thing going on because she’s home most of the day and usually wants to talk the second anyone walks through the door (sort of like a stay-at-home mom).

Both of these drain me. For awhile, I tried to seek En Gedi at Starbucks, but that didn’t work because I still needed time when I got home. Then, I tried coming home and going straight to my room, but that made my roommates think I hated them.

So… while Shasta and I talked to Roxanne, my only hope was that we’d have similar ideas of En Gedi – or that their ideas of En Gedi wouldn’t require me to give up my En Gedi. I’m not too worried about anything else at this point, so here’s to hoping we’ll find En Gedi together!

What’s your oasis/En Gedi like?

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4 thoughts on “The Quest For En Gedi

  1. Mark Driscoll is probably the only person I have ever heard use that reference. The Peasant Princess was such a good series. Ever since listening to that message a few months ago, I have been trying to figure out what my En Gedi looks like. Ideally, I would come home, kick off my heels, and take a 30 minute nap before having to cook dinner, help with homework, talk to the kids, reply to the 50 emails in my inbox, walk the dog, and do a load of laundry while doing the dishes.

  2. I love this post, because you’ve just put words on my own experience!

    At some point in my life I wanted to live with roommates, because I thought I might finally enjoy a real kitchen while keeping my rent to a minimum, and the idea of not coming home alone some nights also appealed to me. I like being around people. I like sharing. I like doing things with others. But I think, like you, I am an introvert at heart. At least so I discovered after my two different experiences of sharing a room… I was the kind of person to head directly to my own things as soon as I got home (be it my computer, my book, or my food), which left no room for chit-chat, and in the end created a cold, indifferent and a little nasty atmosphere between my roommates and I (though I’m sure I would have loved them in any other context).

    I realized I wanted and needed to live alone, so I could just come home at anytime and sprawl anywhere, in any state of dress or undress, turn on the lights only if I wanted to, and read aloud to myself if I wanted to… I like doing so many things that would be considered weird by anybody who’d witness them! 😛 Because I don’t have a job, I guess I get my En Gedi during the day when my boyfriend’s out at work, but I think it involves multitasking at my own rhythm. When you’re with other people, you always have to be careful to do one thing at a time, so you don’t scatter all your things everywhere and leave room for everyone. Well, I like being scattered around. I don’t like having to wash the dishes straight after a meal, or eating the minute the food’s ready, or putting my books back on the shelves when I’m done consulting them, or dressing as soon as I get out of bed, etc. I like setting my own pace.

  3. My sense of home is quite similar. I really dislike noise; of course, I really enjoy music, but I consider noise and sound to be quite different. Since all I do at school is talk and listen and often goof off, I really don’t want to be around anyone, especially my school friends, even though all they want to do is hang out. I like to come home and play video games or have a snack or do some writing…

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