“Some seek solitude to escape the world’s foulness or pollution, or to avoid the discomfort of relating to others. But for the Christian, the reason to pursue quiet aloneness is different. Christianity is a secret companionship. It is the only relationship in which I can be fully understood without speaking a word. My spirit communes with God even in total silence. Prayer is His provision for a degree of solitude even when I can’t get away from it all. When my heart expresses itself to God, we are alone even in a crowd.”
–Finding Focus in a Whirlwind World, Jean Fleming
Hello, dear old friend.
Being near you restores me.
I don’t want to go.
One last sunrise walk. It pains me that I have to leave this place in less than an hour. But, it is time. It seems to get harder to say goodbye to the solitude I find here.
God, in his goodness, saw fit to give Rob and I a little respite this weekend. I’ve savored each and every little moment. I love the beach in fall because the intense heat is gone. It is warm enough during the day to bask, but cool enough in the evening to dawn a sweatshirt and wade.
The ocean greeted me with this message:
The ocean allows me to be quiet. For someone who talks for a living (or vocation, I should say), it is so good to just be.
Rob left early Monday morning, leaving me with about 36 hours to work on my book project. What an incredible difference it makes to be “away” from the norm.
Jean Fleming shares, “Time alone with the Lord cleanses the mind. Focusing on God helps us view this present, illusory world with perspective by setting it in eternity, and enables us to evaluate our current direction, desires, and plans. A Godward gaze often exposes error or shame in our life.”
J. Oswald Sanders was a little more blunt, “We know God as well as we choose to. Arrange your life to accommodate Him.”
This has been a time to cleanse my mind. A much-needed space to listen for direction. God assured me of one thing: He knows the plans He has for me and they are good plans with a future and a hope (Jeremiah 29:11-13). So, I leave resting in that assurance.
Now, I leave my old friend, but am going to keep a shell in my pocket and a little sand in my shoes, just to remind me of this special time.
May the words of Henri Nouwen be an ocean breeze to you today. He writes, “Precisely because our secular milieu offers us so few spiritual disciplines, we have to develop our own. We have, indeed, to fashion our own desert where we can withdraw every day, shake off our compulsions, and dwell in the gentle healing presence of the Lord.”
So, in your hectic day, here’s a drink of the ocean’s love.