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Solitude

March 4, 2014
by

This week’s spiritual discipline is Solitude. Getting alone is ideal for solitude, but creating a quiet place in your mind is also possible. Take a look at this week’s photo. I invite you to sit on the bench and imagine Jesus sitting next to you. Notice everything you can about the encounter. Who was on the bench first, you or Jesus? How close are you sitting? Is it warm or cool? What is the smell in the air? How do you feel? What does Jesus want to say to you? Take a minute to jot down a few notes on your experience.

Reflections:

  • Discoveries in Solitude Photo and Reflections by Marcel

    Discoveries in Solitude
    Photo and Reflections by Marcel

    As I think back of many of the trips I have taken over the past years, I noticed how different the trips were that I went on by myself. During trips I took alone I was not focused on the people I was traveling with, and I was much more aware of my surroundings. I found myself trying to have a conversation in Spanish with a café owner in Buenos Aires. I experienced the Godlike beauty of sunrise at Mesa arch in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. And I hiked for hours to the end of a section of the Great Wall of China. I realized that solitude on a trip gently encouraged me to be more attuned to what happened around me and experience it in a deeper way. Could it be that solitude also encourages me to be more attuned to God?

  • This bench is an invitation to sit down and be in solitude for a while.
  • Alone and lonely are two very different things. The people living in the senior center nearby may hardly ever be alone, but feel very lonely.
  • As a Christian we need never be lonely; God is always with us.
  • Solitude is not just physical; it is also spiritual. Cell phones and iPods disturb our spiritual solitude. The urge to be entertained all of the time is dangerous. It robs us from the times we could be alone with God.
  • Solitude enables us to focus on experiences that may be hidden. I wonder how many magical sunsets I’ve missed because I was glued to the computer, or how often I missed the scent of the ocean because I was in line at Starbucks.
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