Seeking Solitude in Plain Sight

Solitude

 Auras of mystery surround places of solitude. The very word fills pages of novels, entices the busy, and secretes fear into the lost. Solitude hides a secret ingredient in the discovery of inner peace. She whispers of fulfilled longings and whisks sweet fantasies into the souls of dreamers.

Solitude begs the wilderness to conspire. “Let the open places call and the forests invite the seeker”. No answer is heard as nature awaits it’s own peace.

Seekers reach for solitude. I slid the canoe into the water quietly at 4:30 am in the Boundary Water Canoe Area Wilderness. Getting away from camp for my own sense of solitude. 3 portages, a river, and part of a floating bog later I was met by the early morning sunrise on Sema Lake. Crystal clear calm water looked like I was floating on air 40 feet above the rocky lake bottom. It was that moment when I realized that being totally alone without anyone knowing where, did not give me the solitude I was seeking. Only God knew where I was and only His peace could fill me. Of all the places in the world to discover the place of solitude was on the inside. How ironic to find one must be still and get alone when they are already alone. Even more to find out one can be still and utterly alone in the middle of a a busy city (although a park bench might keep us from getting run over).

     Solitude is not found in the rocks, trees, skies, or seas. She hides in plain sight while we are distracted by all that surrounds us.Just the fact that we are searching is a seductress. Could it be that solitude is always there waiting for us to slip away from all our distractions into the quiet place of our own heart?

   Beware of seeking solitude for solitude’s sake for it is a trysting place. A place to meet with the lover of our soul. A place to know the depths of God’s desires for our heart. A place to listen for Gods voice and bare your soul without uttering a word. 
Learn how to practice the the discipline of Solitude wherever you are. Psalm 46: 10 Be still and know that I am God. Could it be that easy?

                  You don’t have to get to the mountain top to find solitude

Get alone anyway

 
For in depth information on the discipline of solitude read Jan Johnsons writings and her sources she uses on this little used but necessary ingredient for growth in our walk with God.

What does alone time look like for you? Do you have a trysting place?Please share in the comments at the bottom

Gary 

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Unswerving, An Intentional Journey

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“Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

In life we swerve. We navigate life as a canoeist navigates a wilderness river full of deadheads, sandbars, rocks, rapids, sink holes, log jams and a host of unseen dangers in an otherwise majestic ride.
After 60 tears of life I vividly remember (stay with me here) paddling my canoe off the big river through a narrow opening between some big rocks with a little sign at the entrance “Follow Me”…Jesus
I know something about swerving. I have an aversion to obstacles in life as I seem to hit and crash on so many unseen and unavoidable things. I also know something about studying the river ahead with a diligent eye. I have a lot of experience both dumping the canoe and then getting back in. I have a ton of stories and even some  meaningful enough to share.

The picture above explains much of my journey of living life intentionally.

I sit down for breakfast with some coffee, open up my Bible to where I left off yesterday. I usually see a word, phrase, concept, story or just some encouragement for direction  for the day or for the season in life. God knows what I need. I have come to know the living Word of Life in the scripture as well as the Person of God in presence each morning. I have come to realize that each morning (keep with me on this analogy) I pack up camp, get in my canoe and paddle more of river stretch of life. The spiritual journey has become one with my physical journey and I have a guide.

I am a follower of Jesus and He has led me deep into the wilderness. My canoe has many wrecks and patches. Each day requires trust.

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I know of many who seem content to make camp and never go further down the river spiritually. Some of my friends stand on their last wreck and demand that God apologize and explain why he does not remove the rocks we wreck upon in life. The book of Job in the Bible is required reading here. We are so important aren’t we.

It is my prayer that at the end of life (our last inevitable crash on the river) we will have a ton of stories to tell forever.

Each day we packed up camp, checked our canoe for any patching needed, spent some time with Jesus as our guide, put on our life jackets, lashed the gear into place and shoved off. Yes, do swerve around the potential wrecks if possible but above all be unswerving in your walk and Trust in the ultimate guide Jesus Christ (you know the one with the map and has really good advice), the only one who has been there before on our behalf.
Please add your helpful comments as well. Angry comments from your rock will be ignored. If you like what you see please hit the “follow” button to get devotional posts in your email. Thanks for reading!

Gary

PS: Garyfultz.com has many of my wilderness stories, please check those out as well