Solitude

Beach-Shell

Over the last few months I have been afforded the chance to do life differently. Opportunities to stay home and be quiet followed by times of going forth and being brave. What I have observed is that often the quiet and the brave are one.

It is difficult to reserve time for self. It takes bravery to say no, to do less. And when pursuing a task that needs confidence, that self same bravery is pulled from a quiet internal strength.

This intentional watching of my life’s rhythms has helped me see the necessity of quiet.

I already know that I am an introvert. That is to say that this Chatty Cathy refuels independently, alone!

After a busy season, I crave solitude like a thirsty man in the Sahara. But, what I have found to be fascinating is that when I pay attention to my solitude it shows me myself. My heart or spirit starts to talk. God’s still small voice whispers to me in this place. I don’t just need quiet because it has been loud, I need quiet because that is where my soul heals and grows.

Spiritual disciplines of silence, solitude, prayer and meditation of scripture are not new discoveries. But, I am learning that they are only a means to God and not the goal themselves.

Anyone else ever tried to heal thyself?
If I just prayed more…read the Bible more…had quiet time with God…then I would or could do better.

In this rhythm of life I am finding the truth is that all of these activities are incredibly necessary for my well being, but not because I have perfected them and become super human. No, it is because I have surrendered to God my time, my agenda and my need to achieve.

“When one is a stranger to oneself then one is estranged from others too…Only when one is connected to one’s own core is one connected to others, I am beginning to discover. And, for me, the core, the inner spring, can best be re-found through solitude.”
~ Anne Morrow Lindbergh, Gift from the Sea (p.38)

Solitude

He brought me out into a spacious place…Psalm 18:19

All of humanity needs solitude and silence. We all need time to hear our heart’s longings and God’s still small voice. This is how we connect ourselves to Him and to His purposes in our lives.

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“Only in returning to me and resting in me will you be saved.
In quietness and confidence is your strength… Isaiah 30:15

Do you long for salvation; for a knight in shining armor to grab you from the muck and noise? Then choose rest and repentance. Do you lack strength? Do you ask yourself how can I be brave? Then choose to be quiet and trust Him.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh goes on to say…
“Not knowing how to feed the spirit, we try to muffle its demands in distractions.” (p.46)

When we feel lost and lack peace we often strive harder. We pick up the pace, determined to fix the struggles that surround us.

LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.
Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is.
You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.
My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”
We are merely moving shadows, and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.
We heap up wealth, not knowing who will spend it.
And so, Lord, where do I put my hope? My only hope is in you. ~ Psalm 39:4-7

Don’t muffle your soul. Don’t rush around heaping up great mounds of nothing.

Choose quietness, solitude, His still small voice.
Then you will be ready to be brave when it matters most.

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