Solitude: God is calling your name


Solitude is a word we don't hear much today. That's because so few people, especially singles, actively seek it.

We're all painfully acquainted with loneliness, that  disease nobody wants to talk about, but that secret pandemic is more common than all other diseases combined.

Modern society has convinced us it's terrible to be alone. TV programs send the message that everyone should constantly be surrounded by a pack of friends. Have you ever noticed most food and beverage commercials show a crowd having a lively good time? The unspoken message is a party is good. Being alone is bad.

We've turned the term "loner" into a dirty word to describe someone nobody likes and who can't fit in with the crowd.

Why we don't seek solitude

Many single people dread being alone, so they fill their life with noise. No doubt that's one of the factors in the success of iPods and headphones. When you plug in, you don't have to deal with your thoughts.


The same is true of cell phones. As long as we're talking and listening, we're not alone.

Our thoughts can be disturbing. We think about the lack in our life. We replay old fears and doubts, then get upset because we don't have answers.

It's easier to find some sort of distraction. As long as we're distracted, we don't have to grapple with the real problems of life.

There's nothing wrong with TV or movies or music. We all need a little harmless escape once in a while, but a problem arises when we substitute these things for taking action. Spiritual growth does not happen when we're constantly choosing music over time alone with God.

It's a subtle form of procrastination, where we use distractions to keep from making decisions.

Are you running toward God or away from him?


Solitude is where we find God. God doesn't shout. He won't try to drown out all our noisy entertainment. He refuses to compete with the TV or music for our attention.

When we complain that we can't feel God's presence, maybe we're to blame. We simply don't make God the Number 1 priority in our life.

Really, how would you feel if one of your friends never called or spoke with you, then phoned you out of the blue and asked for a favor? That's what many singles do in prayer.

The embarrassing truth is that many of us are running from God instead of to him.

The same holds true of going to church. Excuses are easy to come by. We don't get to heaven by going to church, but it shows disrespect to God when we prioritize some social event over worshiping him.

Let's be grownups. The First Commandment tells us who our God is. We don't bow down to carved images any more. Today we devote our admiration to socially promoted gods. If you've put something else in the Lord's place, you're an idolater.

How to make the best use of time alone

How about it? Do you want to feel closer to God? Do you want the stunning feeling that he's hearing your prayers? Do you want his guidance and encouragement?

Then seek him in solitude.

You'll feel nervous at first, even panicky. You won't know exactly what to do.

Try some quiet, relaxed Bible reading. Take your time. Many Bibles have lists of passages that apply to different life situations. Pick one that's relevant to what you've been going through lately. Read it slowly and thoughtfully, with an open mind. Ask God to guide you.

Don't expect a booming voice, so there's nothing to be afraid of. God's not going to appear in the corner of your room and give you a heart attack. Or a scolding.

But if you do this sincerely and receptively, I think you'll begin to sense God's presence. The fascinating thing about reading the Bible is that it--actually the Holy Spirit--constantly gives you new insight, even if you've read the same passage a dozen times.


God doesn't speak out loud. His guidance and encouragement come through verses of the Bible that grab you. That's the Holy Spirit's silent language.

Pray silently, or even in a soft voice. It's easy to do that when you're single and home alone. Keep it like everyday conversation and keep it honest. Praying aloud keeps your mind from wandering.

I believe God honors those who diligently seek him. I believe if you'll invite him into your life in your time alone, your relationship with him will deepen and become richer.

Solitude is a gift we single people have in abundance. If you use it wisely, as an opportunity to grow closer to God, it can become a time you actually look forward to.

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