I spent time in the Black Hills this last week. I was alone except my dog Buggs. With the world swirling around us faster and faster and all the external noise that accompanies living like we do, once in awhile we need the opportunity to unplug and get to know ourselves again. To be certain, when we are used to living in the noise and the chaos the first day or so in the solitude and peace of the forest can be unsettling and you find yourself wondering what you are going to do to keep occupied. Silence and life without distractions is a life we are generally not accustomed to.
So me being who I am, do what comes naturally, I jump on my bike and see where the road takes me. Riding solo is where you find the special moments because there are no distractions. When you are alone in the woods or on your bike God pushes you further and further out of you nice comfortable box because there is no one to rely on except yourself and Your Father.
I found that it is when the solitude is thick enough you can touch it and it envelopes you that is the time you are most aware that God is right beside you. The solitude allows you to draw closer to God. It is so wonderful to hear the words “You are loved with an everylasting love” and actually have the time to ponder on those words and have the time to thank God properly for loving us like that.
To find a quiet place in our noisy world is hard, to be quiet and still is not an easy thing either, but to be quiet in your quiet place is downright difficult. You have to stop doing, you have to stop trying to make things happen, stop pleasing people, stop producing, stop obsessing, stop everything. You have to be still.
That can be hard, that can be scary, even in the beautiful quiet of a lovely deserted campground. Silence can bring inner conflicts to the surface, it can stir the distresses and longings that are always just below the surface. However if we let the solitude and silence serve as a cleansing of our soul we can then let God fill us with the things of His choosing.
I guess that solitude should not always be a silent place where we do “nothing”‘ it is probably better spent as a time of conversation, a conversation between yourself and God, a time of letting the worldly things go, a time of dying to ourselves and a time for our new self to be filled and a time to find freedom.
To find solitude should be our goal and to find God in that solitude is our reward.