Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. (Mark 1:35)
The discipline of solitude is definitely something we should maintain. In a world of high tech and low relationships, we are bombarded by information about everything. Being away from a cell phone, even for a brief moment, creates emotional distress for many people. In fact, we are losing the art of personal conversation, where we actually sit down with someone, face to face and have a real, intimate dialogue. We have become the “text” generation, where we control the conversation without listening. To really listen, especially to God, we must find solitary places, just like Jesus.
Please notice several glaring stand-outs in this passage. First, it was early in the morning. Second, it was a volitional decision. Third, it was in a determined, separated location. Fourth, it was in a solitary place. Fifth, it was all about prayer. This is quite an outline from just one verse! The one obvious truth is that solitude doesn’t just happen; it must be made to happen. Apparently, Jesus had a plan to get away from all of the distractions of an early morning household, and find a place where He could just commune with His Father. Jesus sensed the need and had the desire to make it happen. Shouldn’t we follow His lead and do the same?
What will it take for us to make solitary moments with God a reality? Each of us leads a busy life, but so did Jesus! He made the time and found the place. We need to follow His example, even if it means getting up before anyone else in our homes to spend quality time with the Lord.
Solitude is refreshing, fulfilling and empowering when we allow the Lord to be the true focus of our personal discipline. Solitude is not “me-time.” It is “our-time” with the Lord. In fact, the “me’s” and “others” in our lives will be blessed when we make the discipline of solitude happen daily in our schedule. Have you been alone with the Lord today? If not, do it now!