Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Solitude

This past week, we studied solitude on Wednesday.  The idea behind solitude is that you spend time alone with God.  Lately I have been reading 2 Corinthians and chapter 12 verse 9 gave me a new perspective on solitude.  In that verse God says, "my power is made perfect in weakness"(NIV 1984) This idea of weakness really struck me.  Especially with the idea of solitude already bouncing around. 
I have been under the impression from different books that I have read that solitude was something that I should seek out and enjoy.  And it is, but the first time is not like that at all and I don't know if I really understood why solitude was so difficult to seek out until I read this verse from 2 Corinthians and then it hit me that being away from the world and its duties and obligations is a place of weakness for me.  And not just for me, but for all of humanity. 
In Genesis, God created the world and he made numerous things and called them good.  He even made humanity and declared its goodness, but he added this little tidbit of information in chapter 2 verse 18.  God says "It is not good for man to be alone."  If it is not good for me to be alone, then it must be a weakness that all of humanity shares. 
What about Jesus? His stories talk about him going off to be alone, ALOT.  And it appeared easy for him, he just got up and walked outside in the morning or stayed behind on a mountain top.  I always thought he was an introvert and the crowds got to him and it was his natural stance to be alone with God and that being with people was work for him.  But with this understanding of being alone for humans is a place of weakness and Jesus being fully human, maybe it was just as difficult for him to be alone as it is for you and I.  And maybe it was because he was weak when he went away to be alone that God's strength was able to shine through. 
That's how it can be with us then.  It is difficult to tear ourselves away from the life that we have created in this space that God has placed us.  We feel the weakness, we feel that it's not good for us to be alone.  Until we get to that quiet place and hang out with God and realize the true depth of our weakness, we won't accept it as the truth.  We'll keep on operating in this world as if we are kings and queens ruling our dominion with absolute authority.  We might stop to get advice from the true King every now and then, but unless we dive into that aloneness we will never understand the depth of his power and the lack of ours.  Solitude helps us to rely more heavily upon God and put our trust in him alone.  And within solitude we learn that it's not the strength of walls and masks that we build up around us that protect us, but the strength of God alone.

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