Seeking Solitude

The past few years I have been taking personal trips that take me away from friends, family and everyday life.  I’ve taken single days, weeks and even months but length really doesn’t matter.  Solitude is the key… this is not just a vacation with a spouse or a get-a-way with a friend… it’s a very deliberate time to find isolation from the oh-so-many distractions we face in our world. There’s something magical about being completely alone… just me and my thoughts and beautiful Creation.

For me, I find the most tranquility camping in the wilderness. I awake in the morning and I see His Light as the sun breaks over the horizon, I feel His warmth as the dew melts off the grass, I hear His power in the roar of a distant waterfall. With nowhere to be and nothing to do,  I rest and watch as a new day dawns.   It’s in these times I feel most alive, it’s in this stillness where I can cease striving and know that He is God (Ps 46:10) and it’s in these days I feel a physical connection & spiritual harmony with my Maker like no other.

As I go on these trips alone to recharge, people have always looked at me and said “oh he is introverted, of course he needs that” and I honestly always thought they were right.  But as I’ve encouraged those around me to take time off and truly be “alone” I’ve learned this time pays off for introverts and extroverts alike. Finding a place to embrace solitude with literally no goal except to think, rest and absorb the beauty in Creation and just praise God for who He is yields a unique prize regardless of who you are.

The idea of being alone may be a bit scary but embracing that fear is rewarding. Look at David who spent hours on end writing the Psalms beneath a tree. Think about Jesus who retreated to the mountains time and time again. These were men living in a significantly slower society with barely any distractions compared to the society we live in today yet they fought to get away into isolation. Don’t be afraid of spending time without a close friend or peers… it might surprise you what comes of it.

It’s easy to think “I’m too busy” or “there’s just so much going on, I could never get away.” Consider Bill Gates… even as CEO of Microsoft, he was finding time for two “think weeks” a year!  I’m sure he had more on his plate than you and me combined yet he saw enough value in the power of seclusion to make it happen…and not just once, he did this over and over.

Sure, I’ve gone on 5-week adventures camping solo… not everyone needs such a long trip. But I’m encouraging you to take some alone time somewhere, somehow. It may just be camping at a nearby lake for a night, a week at a log cabin nestled away in the mountains or a month sailing through the Arctic solo.

A get-a-way like this with no schedule or plans will inspire you to create and challenge you to new aspirations. It will give you direction, rest & rejuvenation that you just can’t find elsewhere…but most importantly you’ll find it creates room for the Spirit to feed the deepest cravings of your soul.

Wheverever, however, whenever you do it, you need to do it. Find a place, schedule a time, make it happen… something amazing will come out of it.