Solitude. We all crave it at one time or another. For about thirty seconds this morning I experienced it.
The temperature was 29º in the van, but I had just climbed out of bed and was still toasty warm. I stepped outside to walk into the house. It was still semi-dark, and the full moon shone down through the skeletons of the tall trees, a breathtaking sight. I paused for a few seconds, a moment of worship as I silently breathed my thanks to God. But I couldn’t stay long. The night was still very cold and I wasn’t dressed for it. And then the moment was gone. I opened the door and entered the house. The day was beginning, full of the sounds and activities of a busy family preparing for their scheduled activities.
Recently I have been feeling a vague unsettledness that I don’t think is especially related to our current lifestyle of travel and visiting, but I do think the travel contributes to it. At that moment in the early dawn, I realized at least part of what was missing in my life. Solitude. As a natural introvert, I actually need to be alone at times, to meditate and to recharge my batteries.
When we arrived here at Brenda’s house, we set up our reclining outdoor chairs on the porch and said, “This will be our little outdoor living room, where we can go to be alone.” Well, so far we haven’t been able to use it even once, because of the cold and/or windy conditions. So sometimes I wander, looking for a spot to hide for a while. Well, you know how Murphy’s Law works—I finally settled into a little nook in the office that was temporarily unoccupied. Ironically, the very instant that I typed the first word of this blog . . . solitude . . . I was interrupted. “Bonnie, can you come help for a minute?” It was my sweetie, and I was happy to go. But now it’s three days later and I’m still working on this post, little by little, in short segments, snatching a moment here and there. Solitude isn’t always easy to find!
Actually, whether introvert or extrovert, we all need to be alone at times. We need a place to get away from all the cares and troubles, the noise and clutter, so that we can be alone . . . with God. Even Jesus, while traveling 24/7 with His disciples, made the effort. “And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.” - Mark 1:35. If God Himself, while in the flesh, needed to rest and pray, how much more do we need to do the same!
Researchers tell us that there are now very few if any places left on the planet where one can truly be alone, away from noise, because even the skies are now filled with aircraft. And while we can’t escape sound pollution entirely, it is possible to be alone with God, even in the heart of a busy city, even if you are a mother of toddlers! Make the effort. Make a quiet spot, even if it means getting up very early in the morning, like Jesus did. God speaks to us in His Word, in nature, through other people, but especially through our relationship with Him. Make that time to be alone with Him and His Word, time for Him to speak to you and for you to respond to Him. “. . . and the things of Earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.”
PS. That’s Jack on the chair. He enjoys sitting there. We find him there often, looking out into the woods.