What is Solitude Time?

Posted by Worldview Warriors On Monday, January 4, 2016 0 comments

by Katie Erickson

Welcome to 2016! If you’ve been following our blog posts, we’ve been writing on the book of Romans for the last calendar year. This year, we’re doing something different. For the first few months we’ll be generally focusing on the book of Habakkuk, but we’ll have a few miscellaneous topical posts mixed in too, such as this one.

Do you like being by yourself? I have times where it’s nice to be alone, but I also definitely enjoy being around other people. I’m most often considered to be an extrovert when I take personality tests, which means that being around people excites me. In light of that, and the busy lifestyle I enjoy, I definitely don’t take solitude time as much as I ought to.

What is solitude time? It can be time spent simply by yourself, but if you’re a follower of Jesus Christ, you know you’re never alone (Matthew 28:20b; Deuteronomy 31:8). Because God is always with us, solitude time is time spent alone with God.

The main point of solitude time is to focus on God and not on ourselves. You may think that would be easy, but try it sometime - it’s more difficult than you expect. We as humans tend to be very self-focused. What do I need? What do I want? What do I have to do later, or tomorrow, or next week? What’s going on in my life? We may be physically alone, but no sooner have we said we’re going to focus on God, then we’re thinking about ourselves again. This has been my own personal experience, anyway; perhaps yours has been different.

For me, it’s very hard to block out the distractions of life. My brain is always reminding me of that one thing I need to remember! One way to combat this is to keep a notepad close by. When I come up with that thing I just can’t forget about, I write it down. Then I’m able to clear it from my head, because I know it will be on the notepad when I’m done.

Another way to focus on God is to literally focus on God. What do I mean by that? Pick an attribute of God, such as His love, His faithfulness, His goodness, etc. (If you need inspiration, Worldview Warriors blogger Charlie Wolcott did a series on the attributes of God in summer 2015; his first post in that series is here.) Let’s use God’s love for an example. Think about the word love. What does that mean when we say that God is love? What does God’s love look like in my life? How am I showing God’s love to others? If I know of a Scripture passage on that attribute (such as 1 John 4:7-21), that would be good to read and meditate on.

That brings me to a third way to spend quality solitude time with God: reading His Word. What better way to get to know the God of the universe and spend time with Him than reading the book He gave us? One way I have experienced meditating on God’s Word is through a process called lectio divina (click the link for more info). Essentially, it’s a process of reading through the text multiple times and listening for God’s voice. It can be done in a group, but I find it works well with solitude time, with just me and God.

Typically, solitude time is spent in silence, or maybe with quiet instrumental or worshipful music in the background. For me, my brain focuses on God better if there’s background music, though I have had meaningful encounters with God in the silence of prayer time as well. The key is to make sure any background noise or music is not distracting, so you can spend time with God.

Solitude time is definitely something that goes against our cultural norms of always being busy and having distracting “noise” in our lives. But think about your relationships with other people, maybe your spouse, girl/boyfriend, or a close friend - how deep would that relationship be if you never spent one-on-one time together? Our relationship with God is the same way. Spend some time with just you and God in solitude. He may reveal something new about Himself to you, or He may not; either way, you will have drawn closer to Him and your faith will benefit from it. I know mine has.

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