Lately I've had a real struggle to find alone time with God. Solitude is something I learned to adore in Russia, and not making it a priority has really taken a toll on me spiritually. I'm reading Celebration of Discipline right now and it's really reminded me of how important being alone in thought can be.
I guess the reason I haven't made it a priority is that I'm afraid of becoming a hermit again. I want to be focused on Christ, yet loving all people I see. Those should go hand in hand, but it seems to be a strenuous battle to keep both for me.
I find myself missing Russia often, or at least the healthy balance I had while there. My life slowed down so much there in that every morning I had considerable amounts of time to read, sit in silence, drink coffee, and pray. I basically had a mini-Sabbath every morning, and I miss it dearly. I miss it like I do a person. It's more difficult here since I have to wake up so early, so I'm trying to figure out how to have "Sabbath" time but also give myself to people and responsibilities.
Alone time lets me slow down... and think. Life seems to get hazy so very quickly, but being alone can remove me from that haze and allow me to look at my life clearly. I can stop and remember that life isn't about me. My problems don't seem so big anymore, and God reveals to me how I've been selfish, arrogant, and lazy.
I love reading the Bible and spiritual books during quiet time, because they give me a healthy lens to look at my life through. And I miss it. I miss being able to pour over a single verse or parable for an hour just for fun. I'm getting a lot of knowledge in God's Word, but missing it's wondrous beauty... and it breaks my heart.
Silence lets me look at life reverently, because it's so easy to become robotic in my interactions and obligations. I think I have had an irreverence for life lately, and I'm ashamed. It's so refreshing to sit and appreciate the goodness of life that God has given me. Most of the time I shove life down my throat just "pressing on" and getting through it. It takes great effort to slow down and simplistically enjoy God's many gifts and expressions of love.
God really is seen and experienced in the quiet, not just in the emotionally thrilling experiences of life. I miss solitude. I miss Jesus. I'm tired of praying "on the go" and living a fast food spiritual life. I want to live it deeply and lovingly and courageously... and I pray God gives me strength and wisdom to fight for it.
8 hours ago