In this ninth area of STUCKNESS, we are thinking about our need for the spiritual disciplines which will help us grow. For some of us, we give precious little time to the area of SOLITUDE. Alone time with the Lord is really important. He can speak to us when we are quiet and just with Him.
I’ll admit — as an introvert I really like the idea of SOLITUDE. Just give me my dog, my laptop, and a good cup of Starbucks (and occasional visits from my wife Linda), and I’m pretty happy.
But SOLITUDE is only one of the dozen spiritual disciplines that I need in my life. We mentioned the others in our last post (the inward disciplines are: meditation, prayer, fasting, and study. The outward disciplines are: simplicity, solitude, submission, and service. The corporate disciplines are: confession, worship, guidance, and celebration). Which of those practices do you find easier to incorporate into your busy life? Which seem impossible?
Our text for this area of STUCKNESS is Mark 6:30-34 where we read,
30 The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. 31 Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” 32 So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. 33 But many who saw them leaving recognized them and ran on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When Jesus landed and saw a large crowd, he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So he began teaching them many things.
Doing and saying are important in the Christian life, but so are resting and eating! Jesus invited His disciples to “come with me.” They didn’t need to escape Him, but the crowds. “Come with me by yourselves” — This was not an evangelistic invitation to bring others along. This invitation was strictly for Jesus’ disciples. “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place.” We underestimate how much our souls need quiet, don’t we? “… and get some rest.” Soul-rest is hard to see but spiritually lethal when it is missing. This reminds me of Jesus’ promise in Matthew 11: 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” How’s your rest going?