The Discipline of Solitude

We are so afraid of being alone. So much of our self-worth and self-image is tied to what others think about us. We can so easily fill our schedules with other people and activities to keep us busy. Even when no one else is physically around, the whole world is just one click or swipe away. We can distract ourselves with noise and images from TV, social media, music, podcasts, and so much more in this digital age. Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “We are so afraid of silence that we chase ourselves from one event to the next in order to not have to spend a moment alone with ourselves, in order to not have to look at ourselves in the mirror.” We use other people, endless activity, and entertaining technology to keep ourselves from ever truly being alone.

Yet Jesus was not afraid to be alone because he knew his Father was always with him. He routinely practiced the discipline of solitude throughout his life to commune with God (Mark 1:35). Even as he approached the most difficult week of his life that would culminate in death and abandonment, he ultimately trusted his loving Father to meet him there.

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