Try as I might, I find myself leaving home without it. New habits are hard to learn, no matter how important they are.
Wearing a mask is a great idea to help stop the spread. This simple choice can improve your health, if not save your life. We’ve taken to keeping masks in our vehicle just in case we leave home without one. Wearing a mask in public is a great way to say “I care.”
And there is another habit to practice everyday before you leave home.
Ask yourself, “Has the pandemic been my wake-up call? Have I heard from God? What have I learned?”
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35 (NIV)
Jesus at prayer was about carving out physical and mental space. To Jesus, it was critical to find time to be alone with the Father. He spent 40 days in the wilderness, very early mornings in solitary places, and the night before his crucifixion, he was alone in Gethsemane. Jesus practiced solitude.
3 Aspects of Solitude
- Solitude is not about being alone.
The purpose of solitude is to experience the absence of human activity so that you can more fully experience the presence of God.
- Solitude is a choice to be alone with God.
Picture Jesus, early in the morning, in bed, in the house where he felt safe, comforted, loved and accepted. Jesus left the house. Jesus shut himself away from people, noise, and all the activities of community life to be with God.
- Solitude is the practice of spending time without others and any distractions.
Note Jesus’ pattern: He was with people, then He went to a solitary place where He prayed, then He was with people again.
To return stronger, treasure solitude
i) Chose a small space or place that is free from distractions
When you meet God give Him your undivided attention. You want your time to be uninterrupted. Therefore, do not take your cell phone or any worship music. Consider leaving your coffee in the kitchen. Coffee can be a distraction.
ii) Keep a print Bible handy
In solitude with God, don’t use a Bible on a phone app, or the phone will become a distraction.
iii) Index Cards / Post-It Notes
Use these to record encouraging words, or scriptures.
iv) Journal and a Pen
You will hear from God so be prepared to record what He says.
v) Rug, Chair or Pillow
Whatever you need to make yourself comfortable to meet with God. Solitude doesn’t need to be uncomfortable.
vi) Cork Board or White Board
Display what you hear from God and God’s answers to prayer, to glorify God and feed your soul.
Hearing From God
Do you treasure hearing from God? “Speak, Lord. For your servant is listening.”
Don’t leave isolation without identifying, guarding and practicing meeting with God in your solitary place.
What has God said to you during this pandemic? Please leave your comment below. Thank you.
(I first posted this on April 25th on the Alberta District blogsite.)
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Thanks for reading and getting this far to leave a comment. I’m very interested in your practice of solitude. We can learn from each other. My best time for solitude is when I first get up. Its the easiest because I am alone. Some of my best times of solitude is when I felt prompted by the Holy Spirit to leave what my family was engaged in and slip away and kneel beside our bed and listen for God’s voice. What are your experiences like?
I have certainly been awakened to not take the “little things” for granted….especially my health. My parents always “hammered” that concept into us when we were children. “Take care of your health…that’s one thing money cannot buy”…Now, I realize the importance of why that was repeated over & over. Regardless of your gender, ethnicity, how much money you make or age…if you go out & meet the virus…it will gladly come to meet you. I am not offended by having to wear a mask. I worked at The Cross Cancer Institute for 22 years of my career. I was no stranger to masking & gowning up if I had to visit a patient that had low immunity & I might give something to them…or if they had something…that they might give to me. Constantly washing our hands…soap dispensers on every ward…every so many feet. Certainly no stranger to me. Wiping down my work area & phone with “Cavi-wipes” every day before & after work. I rarely got sick…which was a good thing & we were expected to stay at home when we were sick…as we could give it to our patients or co-workers. It spreads like “wildfire” in a workplace or hospital. It is all about caring. Caring for one another. So, when I hear that people feel their constitutional rights are being violated…I have a hard time with that. To me…it is simply loving thy neighbor….& so simple & easy to do….not to mention…loving yourself enough to protect yourself & your family & friends that you come in contact with. Solitude has been a bit of a blessing…time to think about God’s word & how it relates to what is happening presently to me & everyone else. Truly an “Awakening”….a good one. To count one’s blessings & to act with compassion & kindness. It’s times like these…you can really see the good & the bad in everyone. “Actions speak louder than words”.
Julie, thanks for your wise words. You’ve had great experience around health. Truly, we most appreciate our health when we lose it. Work to keep it. No regrets.
Great reminder to the utmost importance of solitude in our lives. Covid 19 has forced us to practice this as part of our daily disciplines. Yes, our technologies can be a big distraction, and it takes extra energy and God’s grace to put HIM first in the early waking hours.