“The priority of Jesus’ solitude and silence is everywhere in the Gospels. It’s how he began his ministry. It’s how he made important decisions. It’s how he dealt with troubling emotions like grief. It’s how he dealt with the constant demands of his ministry and cared for his soul. It’s how he taught his disciples. It’s how he prepared for important ministry events. It’s how he prepared for his death on the cross.” – Bill Gaultiere
And yet I wonder why I’ve felt burned out, discouraged, out of balance and fatigued? It’s been almost a year since I’ve practiced the disciplines of silence and solitude.
There’s a pair of red-headed woodpeckers about 20 feet away from me, 5 mallard ducks floating by on a pond of glass, and a lone fisherman in a small boat casting into his mirror image. I can identify the calls of three early-morning birds and am straining to identify two unknown. A pair of loons is making its morning trip into the swampy cove to my right.
“Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10
That will be true with me or without me. How can it be that we get so busy doing God tasks that we lose touch with the Lover of our Souls Himself? How can we become so immersed that we actually lose all sense of presence?
Photographing an event is entirely different than experiencing an event. Doing God tasks is entirely different than sitting with God … alone … quiet … still.
Solitude and silence are the disciplines that deliver strength and drive. Similar to pulling into a gas station, similar to having the oil changed and similar to rotating the tires, it is solitude and silence that give me what I need to continue to answer the call of Christ. Solitude and silence are what He needed to complete the mission He was given.
A loon’s call is saying “amen” or “so be it” as my solitude is interrupted by neighboring cottages releasing their children, screen doors slamming behind them. They will want to greet my dog and ask a million questions.
But that’s okay. We were not called to unending solitude and silence. We were called to love our neighbors.
At least I am finally feeling recharged and motivated to answer that call. I’ve got an invite, or more of a challenge actually, to show off my rock skipping skills.
Ok, kid, prepare to be amazed …
By Scott Linscott