July 21, 2020
In the last couple of months, we have all found ourselves spending a lot more time alone and secluded than we may be normally. As a person who thrives being around others, it has been a challenge to shift from being out and about, to figuring out how to avoid having to go out and about. During this shift, I have had the chance to learn a lot about various different things, revive my hobby of reading books, and also learn to really understand how God is also a God of solitude.
I recently took on the challenge of spending a year doing an in-depth study of the four Gospels to really try and understand the person of Jesus. The idea is to go through the Gospels in one month. Then, you repeat it two more times, so you spend three months on a single book. The idea seemed like an amazing idea. If we are to live like Jesus, we need to be constantly learning more and more how to be like Him. Through this, I have learned a lot about Jesus that I just didn’t realize or even know before.
The most surprising discovery to me was when I was reading about the solidarity of Jesus. Yes, Jesus was out and about (obviously) performing miracles, teaching thousands, and ministering to those who were lost, but He wasn’t doing that 24/7. In Matthew 14:13-21, we read about Jesus feeding the 5,000 – one of His many miracles. Before Jesus even went to teach and feed the crowds, it says in verse 13 that He “withdrew from there in a boat to a desolate place by Himself.” Immediately after He feeds and teaches the 5,000, Jesus dismisses the crowds and disciples. Then, in verse 23, we read “He went up on the mountain by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone.” Looking at the timeline in these verses, Jesus had two different times within a day where He withdrew to be alone.
We also read of other times where Jesus goes away to be alone with God. Now, I’m no theological expert or anything, but I’m willing to bet that if the Son of God is needing some time alone, we could use some too. In fact, solitude can be one of the greatest tools we have, and it’s free! I’ll give you some quick and easy steps to spend some time in solitude with God. Trust me, you will not find these tips anywhere else, so pay close attention! Okay, are you ready? You sure? Alright, here it is.
Step 1: Find an empty room.
Step 2: Close the door to said room.
I know, I know. You’re very thankful for me gracing you with my incredible wisdom. But all jokes aside, a time of solitude is not hard to find. For example, I’m currently at the beach, and each morning I make a cup of coffee and go sit outside to watch people play hole #2 at the course of the PGA Heritage Classic. It’s one of my favorite parts of the day. It’s quiet, and I get to see all the beauty in the nature around me. I get to watch some guys crush 300-yard drives perfectly down the middle of the fairway, and I get to watch other guys hit whopping 2-yard drives. I occasionally talk to the caddy who ventures over about how his day is going. I spend time just talking to God and enjoying the scenery He has given me. It’s some of the most enjoyable 1-2 hours of the day. It gives me the chance to focus myself and prepare for the day ahead.
Solitude doesn’t have to be a difficult task for anyone. There’s no magic trick to get started. It just requires some patience and self-control. For me, the best time for solitude is in the morning. It’s perfect because I am able to avoid the distractions of my day, and I am awake and fresh unlike after a day of work. At the end of the day, you have to find what works best for you and what fits your schedule. The important thing to remember throughout is consistency. Choose a week to have a daily time of solitude, and I promise you will notice some significant changes. So, enjoy your time alone, embrace it. It could be one of the biggest hidden blessings that you never realized you were looking for!
Written by: Andrew Reynolds
Andrew Reynolds is a Senior Project Management Major, and enjoys writing for the blog because of the opportunity it gives him to grow as a writer and to challenge himself to see current topics and discussions from a view point he may not have otherwise thought about.