You Need to Be Alone
(Whether You Know it Or Not!)

by | Jan 31, 2024

“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.”

—Blaise Pascal (1623–1662)

One day I was reading a meme on Facebook that said something to the effect of, “If you can walk into a restaurant and eat a meal alone and be comfortable, you are unstoppable!” And I thought to myself, “Gee whiz, is that all it takes? Because I’ve been doing that all of my adult life!”

First of all, it takes more than having a meal alone to be unstoppable. (That’s a whole ‘nother blog post in itself!) But, I understand what the writer of this meme meant. For many people, eating alone would be something they dread. Some people would never go to a restaurant alone, or anywhere alone if they could help it. I’m not one of those people. I thrive on it. I love driving alone, dining alone, staying at home alone, staying in a hotel alone, and eating at a restaurant alone. Now, don’t get it twisted! This is not to say that I don’t love my husband or our dogs. (Yes, I adore my kids too, but they don’t live with me anymore…) And I enjoy people. All I’m saying is, I don’t mind time alone, even large amounts of it. And truth be told, I need chunks of time alone to be in a good place, spiritually and emotionally.

Solitude is a Spiritual Discipline

Solitude isn’t just something I’m comfortable with or don’t mind– it’s a necessary spiritual discipline for all of us. And unfortunately, many people miss out on the value of this spiritual discipline. Certain things are never going to happen in your life without adequate solitude.

One day a team member came to me and said, “Can I ask you a question? Where do you get all the ‘new’? How do you produce all the content you do? Where do all of your ideas come from?” The answer was immediate and easy: “Solitude!” It may just be the number one spiritual discipline in my life, because everything else — prayer, worship, even fasting, flows out of it. None of those things are as effective without solitude.

Scripture is Full of Examples 

One example is Elijah. He was in hiding, and not for nothing. His people were going a little crazy, and that can drive a leader to want to not only hide but eat a carton of Ben and Jerry’s in one sitting. He had so many questions and fears, and a lot of things happening to him that were disappointing at best. He wanted so much to hear from God through this time of difficulty. He went out of the mouth of the cave and waited to hear from the Lord. All kinds of things occur — wind, earthquakes, fires, and more. But God did not speak through those. God ended up speaking in a whisper. There are certain things you just can’t hear from God in the hustle and bustle of life.

There are other examples, but of course, the main one is Jesus. One instance is given in Mark 1:35 where it says, “Rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” I believe there is something important about doing this in the morning. It’s not that a nighttime prayer doesn’t count with God. But one thing I love about the morning is that it sets my heart on the right course for the day.   At times, Jesus went away by himself, to be alone. (Matthew 14:23, Mark 6:46-47, John 6:15) “He went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God” (Luke 6:12)

God’s whisper is loud in the soul.

The desolate place is a sacred space. The whispers change your life forever.

Some people can’t be home alone without a television on in the background as noise. Some need a TV in every room! Others can’t do without their music going 24/7. I encourage you to rethink this, and it’s even more important if you are a leader. It’s virtually impossible to lead people well if you aren’t hearing clearly from God. What might you be missing with these backdrops in your life going, all through the day and night? There is plenty that God wants to say to us and sometimes He needs a blank space to do it. I’ve discovered, He doesn’t always want to share space.


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