No matter how I have lived throughout the rest of the year, every year around the holidays I find myself tired. I found myself especially drained at the beginning of this week. Not just physically drained but mentally too. In our modern world of noise, busyness and 24/7 communication, solitude seems to be very elusive. It’s actually kind of countercultural to the modern American way. It draws us into the very place so many of our activities seem designed to help us escape: Being truly alone with God and without an agenda. It’s a rare and sometimes unsettling feeling to stop doing and just BE. Yet as strange as it feels to just “Be still” the result can be life changing. We can find clarity in the silence.
Why is it we struggle to slow down?
“Be still, and know that I am God!”… Psalm 46:10
Jesus practiced this solitude.
Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. 37 When they found him, they said, “Everyone is looking for you.” Mark 1:35-37
One day soon afterward Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and he prayed to God all night. 13 At daybreak he called together all of his disciples and chose twelve of them to be apostles. Luke 6:12-13
…Later, John’s disciples came for his body and buried it. Then they went and told Jesus what had happened. 13 As soon as Jesus heard the news, he left in a boat to a remote area to be alone. But the crowds heard where he was headed and followed on foot from many towns.
We need to take these opportunities to find this solitude. We need to be intentional about steeping out the back door of our noisy lives with our to-do lists and demanding responsibilities and just breathe in some fresh air. This solitude is a way of restoring the natural rhythms of life that God himself established. Matthew 14:12-13
Are You Out of Rhythm?
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” Matthew 11:28-30