Solitude seems far-fetched in today’s world with its noisy environment. The modernization in the 21st century with explosion of various technological advancements has made it difficult to have quiet moments. Outdoors are noisy with the sounds of generators, automobiles, commercial activities and the general hustle buzzle of the city life. Within the homes are non-stop entertainments via the cable T.V and also the forceful attraction of the internet and social media on our palms. Everywhere we turn to, there seems to be a roller coaster of non-stop activities.
Although this age is characterized with so much busyness and restlessness, the gains of the life in solitude can never be reaped while within the crowd. The renewal of our spirit-man and even the physical is done when we are at solitude. In Mark 6:31, Jesus commanded the disciples to come apart and rest a while because there was so much going and coming and they had been super busy. Jesus our Lord also resorted to solitude after great outreaches to show us its essence and necessity as heavenly pilgrims.
There are many benefits we can get if we cultivate the habit of abiding alone. Great write ups and deep revelations can be birthed while we are alone with God. The book of revelation which shows deep mysteries of eschatology, was received while John-the-beloved was banished to the Isle of Patmos because of his faith. He was isolated from human interactions but he engaged with the divine. He could have resulted to worries and probably plan his escape from there, but he chose to be at peace, in solitude, in fellowship with God and hence, the book of revelation.
A contemporary John who wrote grand breaking allegory while in solitude was John Bunyan. His faith was his offence and he was imprisoned for same purpose. The writing of the famous book, ‘Pilgrims Progress’ was done while he went through the persecution meted on him via imprisonment. Paul the Apostle also wrote a lot of his epistles while imprisoned. It is clear that quietness of the surroundings and the soul can bring about wondrous revelations if properly utilized.
If we would be mightily used by God in this peculiar generation, we must consciously practice solitude and cultivate a habit in it. We must separate time to enrich our soul via bible readings, prayers and meditations. We must be deliberate about it and have a plan to achieve this solitude. Our situations are different as individuals, we must carve out the time that will be practicable and bring about most gains for us. We must also be disciplined to follow through. Engage in building your soul, and from there, you can build others.
Some opportunities for solitude however come unconsciously; there are times we travel and meditate, because we are not familiar with co-passengers, and so cannot engage in long conversations. There are also times we stay awake in the night for some reasons, we thereby engage in reflections and meditations. Some of the lonely hours have given birth to solutions for knotty issues and has forced our minds to design lofty and innovative plans.
Although challenging, plan solitude, practice solitude. Empty drums make the loudest noise but quiet waters are always deep. May we be decisive on this. Amen