Red Letter Challenge Day 9: Solitude

“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” – Mark 6:31

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Into the Wafting Snow | Northwest Washington | December 2019

I used to be able to go long stretches of time without rest or solitude. I would withdraw to watch a hockey game on TV, or play a round of golf. I’d go for long drives to meet with other pastors. But I’d have the radio on. Before the advent of political talk radio I would listen to Bruce Williams or Art Bell or a News Radio station from California! I’d be alone but not really withdraw to a place and time of solitude. To my loss, and most likely to the loss of the people I served and the ministry of the church I led. Lord, have mercy!

Right now, as I write this, I am listening to praise music. I’m enjoying the sonic solitude as well as the space and time of no agenda or yet another meeting to attend or deadline to make. This moment of solitude is refreshing. I am at peace.

I need these moments. I needed them years ago, but the fresh energy of a younger man and the ambition of a driven man, and the need to make something of myself kept me going. 

How does it go with you? Do you have a place and time of solitude? Do you take moments, minutes, hours or longer to be with God without agenda and in silent reflection of who God is, and what he has said? How it is between you and God?

In the quiet moments we may learn something about ourselves and God that we would never otherwise appreciate. As I’ve said before* “Walk a little slower. Be a little quieter. Stay a little longer. For the world is loud and God often whispers.” That’s good advice for me. How about you?

* This quote was told me by someone who attributed it to Chuck Swindoll. It is Chuck Swindoll worthy no doubt, but whether or not he said it, I’ve said it so often that I am claiming the rubric: 

  1. First time: “Chuck Swindoll said…”
  2. Second time: “As I’ve said before…”
  3. Third time: “As I’ve always said…”

Or to quote Rick Warren: “If my bullet fits your gun, shoot it!” Or Charlie Mueller, “When was the last time you paid a royalty for saying the Apostles’ Creed?”

Solitude: No one has a copyright on that!

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