Life teaches me more and more that it’s not good that I should be alone. And that solitude can be a remarkably good discipline to pursue.
Apparently some streams of Christianity highlight solitude as an important spiritual discipline, which I still find a little odd. Prayer I can see, fasting I can definitely appreciate, but solitude? Where’s that highlighted and stressed as something to follow. It has not always been that obvious to me.
Yet. There were times when people had encounters with God on their own and spent time on their own. Not because it was good to be alone, but sometimes solitude was the best way to be free from distractions externally and focus on removing internal distractions to hear what God was saying for movement and direction.
Solitude for me is something I love more these days than in times past. I confused being a loner for appreciating solitude. The key difference was the role of intentionally pursuing God and enjoying His presence on my own, as opposed to just entertaining being on my own.
Lately it’s just been good to appreciate what can be received in solitude as well as what can be gained in the company of others. The rhythm of life up and down, in and out also applies to being with others and being on your own. The mess that is the human experience gets a lot of that wrong with the best intentions at times. Following Jesus considerably gives perspective on getting that rhythm right.
There are times I like to be all alone with Christ my Lord – that’s not just a good line from a hymn, it’s a genuinely good practice for the rhythm of life if we choose to intentionally practice it. For that I am forever grateful.
For His Name’s Sake
C. L. J. Dryden