The Magnitude of Solitude

Remember when you were a kid; back when you were cute and everyone else commented on how adorable you were? Sometimes your cuteness would get you things. I can remember going to the bank with my grandpa and the lady behind the counter always commenting on what a handsome little man I was (she was very perceptive). She then would say, “Would you like a sucker?” With a big grin on my face, I would take it, rip it open and start savoring it. But my grandfather would always have to nudge me a bit and say, “Aren’t you forgetting something? What do you tell the nice lady?” And I would shyly respond, “Thank you.” Why did I have to be reminded to say, “Thank you?” Shouldn’t that have been a natural response to the nice lady offering me a sucker? Why didn’t those words naturally roll off my tongue? I mean, it was the least I could do considering that she gave me this unbelievably tasty piece of candy.

What are you thankful for? I doubt I’m the only one who takes life’s blessings for granted. Much of the time I roll through my day just trying to accomplish the tasks on my schedule. Rarely, do I stop to soak it all in. And so, my endeavor this thanksgiving is to practice the art of being still and drawing closer to the source of all blessings.

Psalm 46:10 reads, “Be still, and know that I am God (KJV).” The NASB reads, “Cease striving and know that I am God.” The word translated be still derives from the Hebrew term raphah and it signifies “to be weak.” Many of us need to become weak, relax and as verse 8 states, “behold the works of the Lord.” We live in a world that resists rest and relaxation. This world values busyness and hurriedness. Slowing down or hitting the “pause” button is equated with laziness. However, activity doesn’t necessarily mean productivity. You will never accomplish more than when you “cease striving” and spend some quality alone time with God.

Our Lord made a regular habit of being still and drawing near to the Father (Mk. 1:35; Lk. 4:42; Jn. 6:15). Jesus always found time for what was most important. He never allowed the pace of life to dictate how He lived. He refused to allow society to impose standards upon Him that were not from God. Regardless of how many people were vying for His attention, our Lord always made time to be still. And so the question becomes, if Jesus needed prayerful solitude, how much more do we?

No matter how busy we think we are, we must never be too busy for God. In the midst of a turbo-paced lifestyle, may we all take time to practice the art of being still and focus on what matters most.

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