SILENCE AND SOLITUDE
Have you ever felt like running away? Or maybe locking yourself in a room for several hours with a good set of earplugs? Life becomes too much and you just want a moment to breathe. Time to clear your head. Peace.
Even Jesus walked away from the crowds at times to spend time alone with God. He went into the desert, into the garden, wherever he thought he might find solitude. And that is how he replenished his soul.
Why is it so hard for us to admit when we feel like hiding from the world? We don't want to appear weak or irresponsible. Gotta keep up the pace. Can't slow down. To demand time for replenishment makes us feel guilty as if we shouldn't need such a thing.
But human beings are designed to need such a thing. We need rest. We need time away from the demands, the constant pulling on our brains and bodies. If we don't get a break from that, our minds become frazzled. We become grouchy, impatient, or depressed. And our bodies become more prone to illness and exhaustion.
The busiest time in my life was when I was a single mother working two jobs and attending college. Anyone who's been a single parent can understand how difficult such a combination would be. A single parent with one job would understand. After two years of maintaining such a hectic pace, the smallest things became overwhelming. The mountain I was climbing became so steep I couldn't take another step. Then everything went black.
I woke up horizontal on the cold kitchen floor. My doctor told me I needed to lighten the load. I couldn't quit work and I couldn't quit being a mom, so I dropped a class. I learned to stop pushing myself so hard. I learned to say, "No" to people who expected too much and activities that stole my free time. I turned off the radio when driving and instead I talked to God and asked him to replenish my soul.
We live in a busy, noisy, crowded world. And sometimes we get so caught up in it that we forget to get away somewhere quiet and restore our bodies and minds. This is something everyone needs. Whether it's a physical getting away or a mental retreat to a quiet place, we need that time alone with God. He designed us to need solitude and be in relationship with him. But some people don't recognize the inner ache of an empty soul and they try to comfort themselves with other things. But the ache keeps coming back.
The next time you feel like running away or hiding somewhere, remember that what you're feeling is normal and healthy. You're not weak or irresponsible, and you have no reason to feel guilty. You're simply responding to your mind and body as they both cry out for silence, solitude, and conversation with God.
What have you done for your soul lately?