The soul is like a wild animal - tough, resilient, and shy. When we go crashing through the woods shouting for it to come out so we can help it, the soul will stay in hiding. But if we are willing to sit quietly and wait for a while, the soul may show itself.
Parker J. Palmer's A Hidden Wholeness
Most of us are not comfortable with sitting quietly and unplugging. It feels tender, it feels vulnerable. It feels out of control because it is a place where one human being cannot fix or fill another, nor can we fix or fill ourselves. Yet we long for solitude and peace.
This longing for solitude is a longing for God.
Solitude is the audience chamber of God.
Anne Lynch Botta
Solitude is a place. It is a place in time that we set apart for God. We withdraw from the noise and the busyness of life associated with the company of others. Solitude is a state of being alone without being lonely. Solitude is desirable, a time that can be used for reflection, inner searching or growth.
Silence deepens our experience with solitude because in silence we choose to unplug not only from the constant stimulation of life in the company of others but also from our addiction to noise, words, and activities.
The longing for solitude is also a longing to find ourselves, to be in touch with what is most real within us, that which is more solid and enduring than what defines us externally.
This is our soul, that place at the very center of our being that is known by God, that is grounded in God, and that is one with God.
In stillness lives wisdom. In quiet, you'll find peace. In solitude, you'll remember yourself.
Constant noise interruption and drivenness to be more productive cut us off from or at least interrupt the direct experience of God and other human beings, and this is more isolating than we realize.
Jesus was highly attentive to this particular danger of spiritual life. Early in his ministry, he began teaching his disciples about the importance of unplugging from the demands of life and resting in God.
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.
Jesus seeks to guide his disciples then and now-into rhythms of solitude, community, and ministry. We need to find time and space to be with what is real in our lives. We need time to feel our joys, shed our tears, feel our anger, and attend to our loneliness. Take time to allow God to be with us in that place for him to do what is needed.
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
from him comes my salvation.
2 He alone is my rock and my salvation,
my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
"When we don't attend to our vulnerabilities and instead try to repress it all and keep soldiering on, we get weary from holding it in. Eventually, it leaks out in ways that are damaging to us and others."
Ruth Halley Barton-Sacred Rhythms
We need to learn to be still and let God fight for us. With discipline, we human beings can do this. Start today by setting aside time each day to be with God. Solitude gives us a chance to regain perspective. It renews us for the challenges of life. It allows us to get (back) to God, to allow Him to provide for us supernaturally.
All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone. Blaise Pascal