I don’t like shopping alone, eating alone, being alone, driving alone. I usually avoid being alone. (With my life it’s not all that hard.) When I am alone I fill the quiet with the background noise of a TV or radio.
Why? Why do I fight solitude? Why do I run from my own thoughts? Last week I realized I am actually running from God, whether intentionally or not. That’s heavy. I am avoiding the conversations in my heart with my Maker who has chosen to reside in me. Those moments of solitude are Him inviting me to sit down and have a chat.
Maybe I am afraid of his disapproval or his correction? I guess I am a little like Jonah. When God needed to get Jonah’s attention He appointed Jonah a divinely ordained spiritual retreat. God put Jonah in a place where he had to be alone. Jonah could not escape conversation with the Lord inside the belly of a big fish at the bottom of the sea. I don’t want God to have to do that to me. I don’t want to run from solitude anymore because now I realize I am running away from moments that my Creator wants to be with me… only me.
So the challenge becomes to stop thinking about myself all the time. Stop focusing on me, what I need, my job, my stress, my relationships, or my goals. When questions of self creep in, I have to stop them and meditate on God. Not just so He will take care of my problems, but because I love who He is.
“My soul has cleaved to you… And preferred you to itself; it has neglected itself for you, so that it may love you more than itself.- Baldwin of Ford