Modern society is crowded, fast paced, and techno crazed.
We rush to keep up,
to live up to ever increasingly expectations
all the while creating multiple masks just to get along.
We never stop to figure out what is actually necessary and what is not.
We’ve become slaves to the chaos.
Solitude frees us from these demands even if only for a short time. We let ourselves thaw out from the overwhelming stress placed on us by ourselves, others and the world.
For a moment we no longer need to impress or are oppressed.
Human relationships are important, but our relationship with God is even more so. Solitude gives us the space to develop that. No one else, just God and us.
In solitude we are alone. Think of it as fasting from people.
Some of us crave this time, while others find the idea uncomfortable at best. We might discover our real selves and what is truly important. We have space to breathe, to linger, and without distractions or demands we begin to see things we never saw before. The truth of who God is comes into focus and we recognize His Presence is with us…… as it always has been.
The seasons and rhythms of life will determine the kind of solitude we can experience. For some it may be on a literal mountain top or in a desert wilderness, for others, a chair in the den in the early morning. Others may retreat to the bathroom, while still others may walk through the woods.
Solitude leaves the busy-ness of life behind. There is a “being still” component that seeks to counteract our culture’s belief in productivity as a badge of honor. Many of us are running from or avoiding some deep soul issues under the cover of being busy, busy, busy. This busy-ness may feed our ego and self-esteem in the short term, but eventually our spirits will need the eternal sustenance and lasting significance only God can provide.
We live in a very noisy world. It’s hard to listen to our own internal voice when we are so addicted to external noise and activity. We are surrounded and participate in so much mindless chatter chasing trivial concerns. Modern day communication proceeds at breakneck speeds, requiring instantaneous and thoughtless decisions and responses amidst an overwhelming amount of information.
We can’t wait for anything. We live stream video, talk to our devices (including our cars), watch the news as it occurs, make rash judgements without truth, hurry from here to there, hurry each other, never stop to listen, think, or contemplate. We get lost in the noise of our lives.
Silence helps us to wait, to listen, to understand, and to focus on God and other people. Our communication will improve as we learn to speak what is important and necessary. We will learn to recognize His Voice and hear it more often.
To discover how to add some Solitude and Silence to your life, check out the Practice Element of Journey One, Highest Honors.