I’ve been incredibly busy this past week. Literally, I could see no way of getting everything done. But I also realized I was struggling to hear God’s prompting thoughts. Like I had spiritual wax in my ears. Busyness does that. The one thing I did “hear” is that I needed solitude in order to get the wax out of my ears.
Dallas Willard says that solitude is the single most important spiritual practice needed in our frenetic age. I’m now convinced from experience of this truth. Imagine your soul like a clear bottle filled with fresh, clean water, but with muddy silt on the bottom. The longer you stay busy, moving, going, doing with no solitude or quiet, the muddier the water gets in your soul.
The only way to change this is to set the bottle down long enough for the silt to settle out. With enough time, things settle out and become clear again. That’s why solitude is essential especially when you don’t have time for it. But that takes trust. Trusting God will lead you to get everything done that He knows you need to do. It requires “seeking first His Kingdom” and trusting that He’s given enough time to accomplish His will.
At first, I did solitude more as a discipline. It didn’t replenish me. The main reason it failed to replenish me is that I didn’t know how to slow down long enough to hear in my spirit the Lord’s quiet, calming voice. I needed enough time practicing this and pushing against the fearful resistance that yelled, “You’re wasting time you loser—this isn’t doing anything—do something so you’ll be somebody.”
But that lie was what God needed to push out of my life. I needed to deeply hear truth, “You’re somebody because you’re connected to Me—apart from Me, you’re nothing.” He couldn’t remove the lie until I pushed against it in solitude long enough to hear the truth. We all have lies and junk that God wants to show us (which is why some of us stay so busy, anxious, and murky in the soul).
So I took a day of solitude Saturday. I’ve already seen an improvement in my consciousness of God’s presence and activity this week, and somehow it’s all getting done with a whole lot less stress. I just wish I could remember before I get cranked up and disconnected to where I believe that lie that says, “You don’t have time for solitude.” Challenge: Put 3+ hours on your calendar right now to be alone with God.