There’s a difference between solitude and loneliness. One can lead to depression and the other to self awareness or spiritual awakening. One of the shows I watched on Hulu this year was “Alone”. They take several people into some of the coldest and remote parts of the world and drop them off miles apart to survive. They are completely alone in the wilderness and the last person standing wins. Many face loneliness pretty quickly and tap out. Others it hits after several weeks. However, there are some who learn to use the solitude as a means of self discovery and start to have epiphanies. It’s incredible to me to watch these things happen as they start to describe their realizations.
I believe solitude is a lost spiritual discipline. In today’s world we are always connected and available to be reached by someone. Our brains have created the fear of missing out (fomo) and have tethered us to constant information sources. If we’re constantly connected to the things of this world, it’s hard to hear the voice of God. Our fear of missing out has been misplaced. We are missing the voice of God and looking to other voices to replace it. We are constantly connected, yet still feel alone. God is calling us to have regular times of solitude in His presence, but we rarely, if ever do it.
We know Psalm 46:10 by heart and can recite, “Be still and know that I am God,” but when are we ever still? Mark 1:35 says, “The next morning, Jesus got up long before daylight, left the house while it was dark, and made his way to a secluded place to give himself to prayer” (TPT). Jesus made it a regular habit to daily find seclusion and solitude to hear the voice of God. He is our example of this discipline that we should follow. I admit, it’s not easy to sit in silence at first. Try doing it for 10 minutes and wait on God. Leave your phone, your smart watch and all other distractions in another room. Practice being still and waiting on God, and you will find that you will know Him more and develop a deeper relationship with Him.