Solitude Isnt About Being Lonely
When you hear the word solitude, what is the picture that pops into your mind? Is it one of calmness, maybe a lake that is perfectly still, or a person cross-legged with their eyes closed and meditating? The word solitude is defined as “a state or situation of being alone.” However, it also infers that you are not lonely in this state.
We have all experienced some solitude in our lives. Some have made it a practice to seek solitude frequently, others just by happenstance. From a leadership perspective, it is critical to key decision making, getting clear focus and vision, and acquiring much needed rest. Let’s look at some examples from the Bible:
Withdrawing from the crowds
Jesus had multitudes of people surrounding him a lot of the time. In Matthew 14, He withdrew by boat to a solitary place. It was without fanfare. Jesus tried to go unnoticed. Note, leaders need solitude especially after large changes, initiatives, and driving work to just recharge. Sometimes, we get surrounded by the multitudes of people, email, daily work tasks and overall busyness.
“Go into your inner room, close your door and pray to your Father” - Matthew 6:6.
- We all need to seek wisdom. Being in quiet places will allow for that to happen.
- Have you ever tried to talk to someone in a crowd. There are personal things you might not say because of the environment. When you are in solitude, God is always with you to have that deep conversation.
- Jesus is our confidant and can give us the best direction. Let Him be your teacher in those alone moments.
Solitude is not being lonely
Throughout the Bible, almost every instance I could find about being alone included talking with God. It shows how God doesn’t think it is good for man to be alone without hope and fellowship (Check out Genesis 2:18). I often wonder how much we need to find “solitude” just so that we can talk with God more. I believe it is a lot more than most of us do today.
Leaders today need solitude in order to provide vision, execute clearly, and rest effectively. Most importantly though, there is always Jesus who is with us in solitude.