Day 8: Keystone Habit 4: Jesus Seeks Solitude
When Jesus walked this world, He introduced new ideas and a way of life no one had ever thought of or considered before. In a world where community represented safety, security, and identity, sought-after solitude wasn't something everyday people considered.
Jesus practiced solitude as a way to restore Himself. One clear example of this is recorded in the first chapter of Mark. If you think your life is busy, just read how busy Jesus's life was in this chapter. He had spent the day teaching in the synagogue, driving out demons, and healing many people. Upon arriving at the home of Peter, He immediately went and healed Peter's mother-in-law of a fever. Later that evening, the whole town gathered at the door to bring the sick and demon-possessed. This would not be a single-file, "take a ticket and wait your turn" gathering if you have many sick and demon-possessed people. People pressed in on all sides, jostling each other to catch a glimpse of the excitement.
After a day like this, you would assume Jesus would sleep in the following day, but instead, Mark records that very early the following day, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place. What the disciples do next shows us how they viewed solitude.
When they noticed Jesus was gone, they looked for him, and once they found him said: "Everyone is looking for you!" They allowed the clamor and the noise to dictate their decisions. "The people are looking for you, so you must go!" But Jesus knew the source of strength and power, and that was through connecting and spending alone time with God. Rather than letting men dictate His moves, He positioned Himself to have time alone with God and be refilled by God's power.
Here is just one instance of over 39 times that Jesus either practiced or taught the importance of solitude.
Of all five of the keystone habits, this one is the most surprising. If Jesus, who had much more on His plate than you do, regularly, and often, sought time alone with God, how much more important is it for you to find time alone with Him?
We live in a loud and distracting world that consumes our attention and pulls us in many directions. That's why we need prayer. But to truly discover and fulfill God's purpose for us, we also need focus, which is what solitude or time with God can give us. Only when we understand that our ability to do anything rests in God alone and that He directs our paths will we know the desperate need we have to "come away" with our Heavenly Father as Jesus did.
In your reading for today, you can see the busy day that Jesus had in Mark 1 and how amid busyness, He sought solitude with God.
Challenge for the Day:
Spend time alone with God today. Sit in a room, quietly, all alone, for at least 15 minutes. Take no digital devices with you. Keep a timer outside the room, record how long you made it, and share the results on social media using the #BeingChallenge. As you thought about God, what things came to mind? What are some things that you remember from your time alone? Optional: If this feels too daunting, take a Bible in the room with you or shorten your time goal.