Home INSPIRATION INSPIRATION: The Power of Solitude by Kelli Mahoney

INSPIRATION: The Power of Solitude by Kelli Mahoney

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When Being Alone Means Being Closer to God

Kelli Mahoney

Solitude is a powerful spiritual discipline
that is often overlooked by many Christians – adults and teens alike.
Between the multitude of church activities, school, and even social
networking, taking time out to be by ourselves with the Lord is often
one aspect of our faith we put into practice far less frequently than we
should.
What is Solitude?

Basically solitude is being alone. It is the absence of distractions like people, computers, schoolwork, television, cell phones, radio, etc. Solitude can be getting away from
everybody in a weekend retreat or just locking yourself in your room for
an hour in peaceful quiet.

The reason solitude is a spiritual
discipline is that “alone time” can often be a more difficult task than
we think. It takes effort to be sure you are not disturbed.
Why Do We Avoid Solitude?

The
simplest and most common reason we avoid being alone with God is that
solitude forces us to face everything in our lives head on. This
internal confrontation is often why solitude is one of the most
difficult spiritual disciplines. Yet, without time alone with God the
aspects of our lives that need the most work often go ignored or unseen.
 Others also keep us from solitude.

There is all kinds of pressure to
be social and “get out there” and experience life.  We’re often
discouraged from spending time alone, because to others we’re not taking
advantage of the life God gave us.

 However, God also wants us to spend time knowing ourselves, too.
Why is Solitude Important?

It
is when we are most by ourselves that we realize God is actually right
there with us. At that point the solitude allows us to grow closer to God as we begin to address the things going on in our lives, thoughts, and existence. We are able to see clearly, through a
Godly perspective, what is important in our lives.

When we spend time
in solitude, we get away from all the things that distract us from our
reality.  We see inside our lives, our thoughts, and our behaviors.
 Solitude brings us peace that we just can’t get when we’re surrounded
by others.

It allows us to decompress and take the stress off of our
day.  Yes, sometimes solitude can grow loud with the clanging of
thoughts bumping around in our minds, but at least that clanging is just
our thoughts and not mixed with the cacophony of noise the world brings
in.
But How Do I Find Time for Solitude?

We live in busy,
busy world where time alone is not always rewarded. So, solitude does
take effort and persistence. While sometimes we think of solitude as
long periods of meditation,
often we have to be more creative about it.

Sometimes we may only have a
few minutes to be alone with God. We may find a few minutes before we
get out of bed in the morning, on the walk to the bus stop, or in a
peaceful corner during study hour. We need to learn that it’s okay to
tell others that we just want to be alone, and tell them in a way that
helps them understand this isn’t a slight against them, but just our way
of letting our spirits breathe a little bit.

 

There is a reason that solitude is a
spiritual discipline, and we all have to work hard to be sure we are
getting that “alone time” with God.

 

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