The amur leopard, black rhino, leatherneck turtle, mountain gorilla, asian elephant, bengal tiger, blue whale, bluefin tuna, giant panda, African and Indian elephants – are all on the World Wildlife Fund’s list of endangered species.
I wish to add one more to the list……. human solitude.
It is bizarre to think of life without television, internet, email, texting, cellphones, or laptops. We are connected. Sadly though, we are more connected to the world around us than with what matters most – our wife, our kids and our God. Think about how much time you spend interacting with your wife, your kids and with God compared to the amount of time you spend texting, emailing, surfing, Facebooking, Tweeting or watching TV.
When is the last time you spent a day on a personal retreat with God? Just you and the Father, hanging out, talking about life, your marriage, your kids, your future, your ministry, your purpose….What about 1/2 a day? A couple of hours? An hour? Fifteen minutes?
Yes, we have places to go and people to see; deals to do; ideas to chase….but, where is God in all of it? Is He leading or are you? Is He the Shepherd of your life, plans, dreams, goals and agenda – or are you? Do we desperately seek Him before making our plans, or simply ask Him to bless the plans we make?
For many Christians the goal is to try to have a quiet time on a regular basis. For some reason that makes us feel good about our status with God. “I read my devotional this morning”, or “sang a couple of Christian songs on my drive to work this morning” (both of which are great to do) – and we feel like we are connecting with God.
Our heavenly Father longs to spend time with us. Just like Adam, our lives were never meant to be lived apart from God. He desires our company. He wants badly to speak to us about our life, our issues, our needs – but we have to take the time to listen. We have to slow down long enough to clear the noise of the world out of our heads so we can even hear what He has to say.
If you are like me, you ask for God’s wisdom, strength, direction and blessing on a regular basis. He, as any good father would, deeply desires to give us those things. He answers our prayers and speaks to us throughout our day – but we don’t still our souls enough to hear.
Solitude. Alone. Quiet. Still.
Matthew 14:23 – After sending them home, he went up into the hills by himself to pray. Night fell while he was there alone.
Mark 1:12 – The Spirit then compelled Jesus to go into the wilderness,
Luke 5:16 – But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.
Jesus did it. He knew he “could do nothing” without His Father’s wisdom, direction and strength. He was desperate to hear form the Father. If he was desperate – who are we to think to think we can handle life without His direct intervention?
God calls to us to come into His presence – to silence the noise around us enough to hear His “still small voice”. God has no iphone app. He chooses not to text or email, blog, Facebook or Tweet. He chooses to speak, to converse, to interact. Rev. 3:20 says He will dine/fellowship/commune with us. He wants to laugh, cry, console, listen, advise, love, impart, guide, counsel, provide, restore, comfort, hug, admonish, encourage……etc.
He is not angry. He loves us and longs to spend time together with us. It is we who are missing out when we choose not to take time to enjoy His company.
Pray about finding some time, extended time, to get away from the frantic pace and noise of life….and physically get away with God. Take a notebook and pen. Don’t fill the time with selfish requests. Enjoy the quiet. Listen to nature. Still your soul. Listen for His loving voice. Speak little….listen much.
Psalm 16:11 – You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
Psalm 37:7 – Be still in the presence of the Lord
Psalm 68:3 – But let the godly rejoice. Let them be glad in God’s presence. Let them be filled with joy.
Get away with God. Enjoy Him.