"Go to your private space and shut the door, seek the Creator, who will be waiting."
~ Matthew 6:6
Yesterday I took time away from a gathering of friends to seek solitude. As I walked around a park, I discovered a table set with fine China, sitting beneath a tree in bloom.
The scene was a photo shoot that had just completed, and the photographer was sitting off to the side gathering her equipment together. I walked up and took a few photos.
I started to think of the importance of seeking solitude. When I first began the discipline of seeking a time of solitude each day, I was somewhat apprehensive. It wasn't so much the fact that I was not comfortable spending time alone, it was the fact I was being intentional about finding silence. More importantly, it was finding a way to overcome the chaos that then appears in the solitide.
Recently someone asked me how it is that I find time write each day. It's not always easy, but for me, life just seems difficult when I don't. It's as if I have not really started my day until I invite the solitude to enter.
I'm not afraid of the silence, I'm afraid the silence won't happen!
Solitude is simply not something we seek naturally. At an early age we are taught to be in relationship and community, and fill our life with this preoccupation.
Becoming comfortable with silence can happen anywhere once we have learned to surrender ourselves to the idea of solitude.
Even as I sit and write this, I'm sitting in a busy terminal at LAX. Committing ourselves to solitude takes practice. It amazes me that even in a place full of chaos (and I laugh because a woman sitting across from me just dropped her suitcase on my foot and apologized!) I still recognize that God is present.
Learning to invite the stirrings of our souls will always create space to welcome God into the present.
Learning to surrender to solitude leaves us wanting more time to spend with God.
Being attentive to God's voice in us no longer leaves us feeling as if we have wasted our time. Instead it is the reminder, like the unexpected table set under the tree, that God is simply waiting for us to show up.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2018
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.