Never Forsake Your Solitude

“After he had sent them away, he went by himself up into the hills to pray. It was late, and Jesus was there alone.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:23‬ ‭NCV‬‬

People mistake me for an extrovert all the time. I can talk to pretty much anyone on any topic (except sports discussions that require remembering player stats or specific dates). I enjoy spending time with people, especially when it involves sharing ideas, hurts, or good news. But, at the heart level, I am an introvert. I love time alone. Sometimes I think we can be misled into believing that if we like to be alone, we don’t like people. This is simply not true.

As I type this, I’m looking out over a mountainside of trees on the Appalachian Trail. Though I make it my [meaningless] intention to write every day, it doesn’t happen unless I’m alone. My ideas stop flowing when I’m around other people because I’m an active listener, and it’s impossible for me to generate my own original thoughts simultaneously. My ideas are also hampered by the general distractions of life. I’m still making that transition from human “doing” to human “being”.

Though God invites us to connect with Him anywhere at any moment, I struggle to “feel” that connection outside of solitude. There have been times when that connection occurs in group worship, but I haven’t reached the point where I can let go to fully embrace and enjoy it. There are too many public worship places that don’t foster an environment of freedom to worship uniquely and without judgment. And the few places that do embrace this concept, many times, are full of people who are so distracting that it deafens the Spirit’s still small voice and power. Out here in the woods, there is no audience but God. Well, except for that gorgeous red-headed woodpecker I spotted a few minutes ago. I can sing. I can chant. I can whisper. I can cry. God is my only audience, and He applauds any display of genuine love and affection.

And now, I have to end this beautiful moment of solitude because I’m going to meet up with a great group of friends for lunch. As always, I will enjoy the fellowship and share my heart with others. But I won’t be giving up my solitude any time soon.

©, December 20, 2018

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