In a previous series, we considered the spiritual disciplines generally. In this series, I want to take a deep dive into one discipline: Solitude.
To begin the series, let’s start by considering three realities that can have a profound negative impact on our spiritual lives…
Modern life is crowded. With smartphones and social media we are always connected. The world is decreasingly rural and increasingly urbanized. Even suburbia is ever more crowded with densely settle neighborhoods and apartments. We have large schools and megachurches. And we live in a kind of festival culture, with 100,000 in attendance at a football game.
Consider these factors for a moment. How might constant crowding effect us? Spiritually? Negatively: Perhaps we are afraid of silence and solitude. Perhaps we drift into group think or mob mentality. Positively: Perhaps we have excel in community, imbibe energy, and benefit from collective wisdom.
Modern life is noisy. We have endless music catalogs and constantly at our side. We have podcasts, on-demand television programming, social media infinite pools, the buzz of cars, the rumble of construction, ubiquitous smart speakers, and, of course, crowds.
Consider these factors for a moment. How might constant noise effect us? Spiritually? Perhaps we have a noisy soul. Anxiety. Cloudy thinking. Perhaps we are forced into a certain level of shallowness.
Modern life is hurried. The churn is constant: school, band, work, sports, church, home projects, pets, continuing education, gym, hobbies, travel. It will leave you breathless and woozy.
Consider these factors for a moment. How might constantly being in a hurry effect us? Spiritually? Perhaps we are constantly grumpy, or maybe we’re outright angry. Perhaps you’re constantly weary. May your blood pressure runs high.
These three factors are, theoretically, neutral. Being hurried in a noisy crowd is not sinful. But upon reflection, we see that they can have a major negative impact on our lives and on our spiritual lives in particular, if they are constant and unabated. And in our modern lives, if we just go with the flow, these things are constant and unabated.
So, you probably see where this is going.
Having recognized the danger of constant crowds, noise, and hurry, are you starting to anticipate the antidote?
What might the antidote, the inverse, the counterbalance and remedy be?
You guessed it: Solitude!
Solitude is essential to growth in your spiritual life, and it is hugely beneficial. In this series, we will explore the what, how, and so what of solitude.
Alright, so what is solitude and how it is beneficial? More to come…