Solitary Confinement

As most of you know, I pretty much run full throttle all the time. I even have people who call me and start the conversation by saying, “I know you’re busy, but……” I guess I have developed something of a reputation for not letting any grass grow under my feet. And that’s fine with me. I want to learn and grow and be a contributing member of society all the years of my life. Besides that, I love what I do. The last several days, though, I have fallen behind in some of my own tasks that I need to attend to. So I ended up working until about midnight last evening and then finally went to bed.

Before drifting off to sleep, I checked the calendar for today and to my delight, found that I didn’t have any morning appointments – and that is rare. So I got up a little later than usual, took my time getting ready, headed up to my office to balance the bank statements and really noticed how much I enjoyed the solitude. You see, I don’t get much of that – always running here or there – and it was odd to have several hours to just reflect on things. I ran to the post office and the bank, made a quick stop at the hardware store and then back home to pick up my computer and briefcase for an afternoon down at the cafeteria.

The whole experience was pretty refreshing, including the 45 minute drive to the cafeteria. I just never take time to kick back and relax. I guess I could create a little margin in my life, but it’s just so foreign to me. So it was pretty special today. The odd thing is that even though I was enjoying solitude, I wasn’t alone. That seems a little paradoxical to me. But it’s true. Kind of like being in solitary confinement, by choice.

Mind you, I wouldn’t want that all the time. But every once in a while, I could get used to it. And while there are times in my life when I have felt lonely in a crowd, that wasn’t the case today. It was just a time of joy, prayerful reflection and refreshment. That feeling lasted all day, including now, as I write these words.

The idea of solitude is not new. There are several spiritual pathways – ways people connect with God. They include music, community worship, prayer, silence, solitude and nature – at least these are the major ones. And there was an unmistakeable connection with God this morning. Solitude is also one of the spiritual disciplines that we read about in the Bible. In fact, Jesus moved away from crowds to spend time in solitude with the Father.

Tonight’s verse is from Mark 1:35, “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Several times in the Scripture, we are told that the disciples looked for Jesus and didn’t want to leave Him when they found Him. And we know that even on the night before he was tried by Pilate, Jesus went off by himself and prayed. It seems like Christ Himself was rejuvenated by His time in communion with the Father.

My encouragement this evening is to spend some time in solitude and experience what it is like to connect with God on a different level. It doesn’t have to be a long time – just long enough to test out this spiritual pathway. And my prayer is that God will bless your quiet time with Him. After all, it’s not like you have to be in solitary confinement, but in this case, it helps….. Grace and peace…

 
 
 
 

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