What is Solitude & Silence?
Solitude is an active, intentional, and deliberate time away from people/society and toward life with God. Solitude sets us free from the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that often bind us.
“There is freedom to be alone, not in order to be away from people but in order to hear the divine whisper.” – Richard Foster
Silence is more than just being in the “quiet” but rather the complete removal of any noise or distraction in order to seek the voice of God. Solitude and silence remove us from the distractions of the world in order to be in deeper connection with God.
Jesus on Solitude & Silence
The practice most often recorded in the life of Jesus was solitude and silence. He consistently removed himself from the noise of the day to be by himself with the Father. In fact, Jesus kicked off his entire ministry with 40 days of solitude and silence in order to intentionally seek the Father (ex. Mark 1:35, Luke 12:6, and Matthew 14:6).
Solitude & Silence in this Current Moment
The world has never been noisier or lonelier than this current moment. Everyone has been stripped of something in this season whether its work, family, health, finances, or even school. Our flesh in moments of loss desires distraction and noise. Our flesh pursues news outlets for more facts in hopes of pointing us forward, but in reality, it just creates anxiety. We even go to Netflix to help us escape from the reality of the moment. However, more than ever we need to remove ourselves from these daily distractions and seek silence and solitude. The noise we pursue will not bring healing or wholeness. The news outlet will not point us forward or help us heal. Solitude and silence open us up to God’s presence. And in God’s presence, we experience healing, hope, wholeness, and, most importantly, the Father’s love.
Here are three important ideas to focus on as you attempt to grow in this practice:
- Start Small – Don’t try to run a marathon in a day. Start with 10-20 minutes, especially if you’ve never done this.
- Do What You Can – No one has the ideal situation, so do what you can in yours. Wake up early, stay up late, turn off your phone, use nap time, or take a daily walk. Evaluate your current day and see how best to incorporate this.
- Stay Consistent – Solitude and silence is awkward at first, but the more you practice, the deeper the benefits.