Solitude is one of my favorite rhythms. I find that I need as Ruth Haley Barton says in her book Sacred Rhythms, "rhythms of solitude, community, and ministry." I need those times to be alone to hear myself and God. I need those times of community when I am with others sharing life together. And, I need those times of ministry when I am focused on serving the God I love. When these three things are in balance, I experience greater fulfillment, growth, and peace.
Solitude is a place to know and experience God in our deepest being and to connect with our own souls. Our souls are often timid, unwilling to come out in places that are dangerous or overly loud and busy, yet in the quiet of solitude they may peek out of their hiding place and even appear when it is safe. When we are able to unplug and disconnect from our world of technology, social media, and overly busy schedules, we can hear our souls. An old-fashioned saying comes to mind, "We can hear ourselves think."
Often we are tired at a soul level from all the striving and busyness of life. This is when we most need to pause in solitude and keep still to hear from God. Rather than striving to make things happen ourselves, we need to wait on God to do His thing and to make things happen.
Journaling, having a quiet time, and my solo days are the mechanisms I use to choose regular times of solitude. In these times of solitude, I am able to look inward and upward in a way that refreshes my soul and in God's loving presence see what is hidden deep in my soul. Often in these times of solitude I hear God, find healing, or return to a place of peace rather than chaos.
Finding solitude is not always easy in our busy lives with work, family, and other obligations.
How do you find times for solitude in your life?