Why I Need Daily Solitude

Practicing solitude has been a part of my life since I was probably 11 or 12. ¬†In Jr. High and High School, it was mostly in the form of a daily devotion (about once or twice a week). ¬†I was encouraged to do this ¬†by my church and youth group. ¬†That was good, but in college a mentor of mine helped me see that solitude was much more. ¬†He helped me experience solitude beyond just a time to read something encouraging or challenging for the day. ¬†Solitude became an opportunity to get away from the pace of life… to reflect on what is really going on in my life… ¬† to be still and quiet for longer periods of time than I was accustomed to. ¬†I’ve learned over time that solitude means asking myself tough questions and looking closely at who I am becoming. ¬†It means seriously trying to listen for the voice of God in the midst of this crazy world we live in.

Solitude became a big part of my life and it has been ever since. ¬†But… it was never a daily thing. ¬†It never really needed to be. ¬†For most of my days since college, I would practice solitude here and there for longer periods of time. I might take a quiet walk for 2 hours one week. ¬†The next I might get away at a camp or church to find 2-3 hours of solitude. ¬†Sometimes I would go to a cabin for an overnight stay in solitude. ¬†Finding random opportunities for solitude worked pretty well for me as a single young-adult and even into my early 30’s.

Sometime over the past 3-5 years, all of that changed. ¬†I now have 3 kids, and before I quit my job, my professional life was also much¬†busier. ¬†Even now as a stay at home Dad (maybe even more so), I just don’t have random blocks of 2-3 hours to get away all that often. ¬†This was probably all a gradual change, so I didn’t really notice it. ¬†But after a while, I realized that solitude was no longer a regular part of my life. ¬†And that needed to change. ¬†That is why I am in need of daily solitude at this point in my life.

The past few weeks have been like visiting with an old friend. ¬†Spending time away from the normal pace of life, away from distractions, is just simply life giving. ¬†It is awesome. ¬†It really doesn’t matter whether it is 20 minutes a day, or 2 hours a week. ¬†Challenge yourself this week to find a way to spend some time in solitude.

 

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