Learning about Solitude – Solitude & Technology
Set a timer for 5 minutes and sit in silence in preparation to learn today. As thoughts come to your mind, intentionally offer them to God.
If five minutes is a challenge, try starting with one minute a day and build up from there.
Read or listen to Mark 1:35
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Read or listen to this blog from John Daigle to learn more about solitude. Make a plan to incorporate what you learned from the blog into your practice of solitude this week.
Solitude & Technology
When I was 14, I got my first iPhone. My simple pleasure was falling asleep watching a movie on my phone, filling my final moments of the day with white noise and a white glow. The movies I would watch were often good in and of themselves, but they became less than positive when they dulled my ears to God’s influence.
Sixteen years later, smartphones have grown, and so have I. My goal is to live my life moment by moment with God: to live in his agenda of love and experience his hand at work with me. Little pockets of time matter in this pursuit. The time between lying awake to slowly nodding off and time between activities throughout the day can all be used to check in with God, asking for help and guidance, thanking him, and simply acknowledging his presence. I can all too easily spend these moments (as I did in early high school) entertaining my brain, and numbing it to the reality of what my moments hold. But I don’t want to do that.
Rather, at the start and close of each day, and in these transitions between sunrise and sunset, I want to commune with the living God. Aligning myself to his good purposes, I can work, rest, play, and be entertained, all in accordance with his good agenda.
More than ever before, the little glowing rectangle in my pocket offers me superhuman capabilities to do as much work and play as I want. Work and play are available always and everywhere! As soon as an impulse comes in either of those directions, I can actualize them immediately. So rather than staying on God’s agenda and in the flow of his power, technology allows me to plug into work or play in a way that leads to a disordered life.
God needs to be treated with the weight he is due. He is the King, and we need to give him our time and attention.
We can do that through Solitude: reordering our lives, unwinding our agenda for our days, and turning our attention to the reality of God’s lordship in the world. We get clarity about God’s magnitude and our true purpose when we unplug from the world, both the digital world and our day to day lives amid other people and their agendas.
As Paul tells the Athenians,
“The God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth, does not live in temples made by man, nor is he served by human hands, as though he needed anything, since he himself gives to all mankind life and breath and everything. And he made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined allotted periods and the boundaries of their dwelling place, that they should seek God, and perhaps feel their way toward him and find him. Yet he is actually not far from each one of us,” Acts 17:24-27 ESV
Solitude is not a void and we are not alone. Someone will meet us. If we seek him, he will be there. He already is. Solitude makes space for us to “feel our way toward” God. When we open ourselves to his presence, we have the chance to align ourselves to his agenda rather than simply our own. Solitude is an essential practice for learning to live our moment by moment lives with God.
Solitude removes us from outside influences. It helps us use our time and technology to correctly acknowledge God’s full magnitude. Instead of using my phone as a substitute for God, I am trying to use my phone to accomplish God’s agenda for me in work, play, and entertainment, all in proper alignment under him.
When we re-emerge into the world after being alone with God, we can welcome him into our moments. When we acknowledge his presence with us, and set our minds upon his agenda, rather than simply what we want, his agenda guides our moments and interactions.
If you also want to live your moment by moment life with God, I invite you to try slowing down, being still, and getting alone with your Creator. I am learning a new way, so let’s learn it together. He will be there.
Invite God to reveal himself to you in your solitude and show you how to practice solitude this week.
Week 4 of 7 Solitude
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Scripture Memorization – John 19:30
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Solitude & Scripture | 06
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Thank you, Johnny, for addressing this reality in the midst of our season on solitude! Perfect timing! And the way you read it out loud slowly was powerful and effective.
Alot of truth in there, Johnny. Thanks for sharing your thoughts and direction.
I can definitely relate to this and am encouraged to get a grip on some bad habits. Thanks, Johnny.