Waking up this morning, I’m feeling inspired by my weekend here at Paragon Church. One of the elements we included yesterday was an hour of solitude and journaling. Anytime I include that in a new crowd, it always feels like a risk. Introducing new or challenging elements to people, in any context, can feel like a risk. But, true to my identity, the risk had to be part of the journey and experience this weekend.
As I introduced the exercise, I promised the crowd that if they followed the guidelines that God would show up in it. Somehow the phrase, “and if He doesn’t, I’ll burn you’re notebook or some other dramatic display.” I am not really sure where that came from, in the moment, but was chuckling at myself afterwards!
The solitude time came to an end and as each person came filing back into the room. What an inspiration it was to have the opportunity to hear so many of their experiences! Some who had never experienced a time of solitude, shared how impactful it was. Others who were experiencing journaling for the first time shared some of the discoveries they made.
Hearing stories from the lives of others, reminds me again how wonderfully impactful solitude is in our lives and our spiritual journey. While it is totally counter cultural in our noisy and busy culture, it seems all the more necessary! It can also be a very stretching experience as it sometimes takes us a long time to quiet our minds and spirits and truly experience solitude.
I wonder, is solitude part of your life and spiritual journey? How do you experience the discipline?