Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What IS Solitude?

Is solitude Loneliness? No. "Loneliness is inner emptiness. Solitude is inner fulfillment."

I LOVE being alone. I'm not lonely. If I don't fear being alone, I possess inward solitude.

"There is freedom to be alone, not in order to be away from people but in order to hear the divine Whisper better." Although, I admit, I DO often want to get away from people! As I read in A. W. Tozer's biography, God is much easier to be with than people sometimes!

Is solitude Silence? Well, yes and no. I can be silent and still be very agitated or angry. (Like giving my husband the silent treatment -- I know, I know....)

But...we do need silence to have solitude. "Without silence there is no solitude. "

"All those who open their mouths, close their eyes! The purpose of silence and solitude is to be able to see and hear." And to see and hear more clearly. To notice the little things. The things in life that don't shout.

Is solitude Listening? I fail to listen if I'm not silent. Listening to what God is trying to reveal to me. If I take no time for silence, expectantly waiting, I won't hear that still, small voice tugging at my heart. The whisper. The sound of the trickling brook.

Is solitude Trust? Yes. Silence is trust. Trust that I don't have to control everything and everybody. "A frantic stream of words flows from us because we are in a constant process of adjusting our public image. We fear so deeply what we think other people see in us that we talk in order to straighten out their understanding....Silence is one of the deepest Disciplines of the Spirit simply because it puts the stopper on all self-justification." I need to let God be my justifier -- I don't need to straighten others out. Nor do they need me to. Trust. If I try to straighten others out, I interfere with God's plan for them. I become a block. A block to their spiritual growth.

Me being silent. To listen to them. Trusting God with them.


What is Solitude to you? I would love to listen.

As a disclaimer, I'd like to quote a big truth I read once, "We teach best what we most need to learn!"

(All Photos by Jimi Ann;
Quotes by Richard Foster)

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