Busyness is a disease and it’s all around us, infiltrating our culture, infecting our lives. You see it everywhere—at work, on the road, at school, at home, and even at church. It can lead us to want to escape to another culture, or a remote, less-populated part of the world. It’s hard not to be amazed at Jesus’ lifestyle. While Jesus didn’t have emails to answer or voice mails to return, he had become a popular teacher with people clamoring for his attention, begging to be healed, longing to learn. And his pace of life existed within a culture that was trying to survive and thrive within the shadow of the Roman Empire. Despite all this, Jesus lived a life that was centered. And He did it by practicing the spiritual discipline of solitude.
The word discipline can throw us off. It can be a reminder of practicing the discipline of exercise or proper nutrition. It can bring to mind times when we’ve had to discipline a child, or even cause us to remember times when we received rightful discipline from our parents or teachers. But the spiritual disciplines deepen our faith and align our souls with God.
Welders and carpenters know the importance of alignment. If the pieces are not lined up, then the finished product will be off. It’s possible no one will notice, but the tradesman, or builder will. It’s the same with us. When we neglect the alignment of our souls, it’s possible no one will notice—at least not for awhile. But eventually, we’ll be off track and we’ll wonder why God feels so far away. We’ll begin to question why our relationships are unraveling and why our joy has seemed to dissipate.
The spiritual discipline of solitude is a vehicle that can bring us into the presence of God where we can enjoy time and conversation with Him. Getting aligned vertically with the Father is a necessity if you want to live a life of love and joy. Soul alignment is the key to experiecing the life Jesus came to offer, life abundantly!
We must get aligned daily. Jesus did. The Bible says: “Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” (Mark 1:35 NIV)
When is the last time you slipped away to a solitary place to pray and enjoy time with God? This week, make a point of carving out time to be alone in His presence.