There is a spiritual empty place,
a yearning, a helplessness
in the heart of each of us...
that only God can fill.
Some people cannot be alone.
They feel left out and fearful when they are alone.
They feel the need to fit in somewhere.
As a result, they become emotionally attached to
people, things, and experiences.
One will only try in vain
to fill the inner void
in their heart and soul
with everyone and everything
However, there is a vacuum...
a void in the heart of every man
which cannot be filled
by any created thing.
This infinite abyss can only be filled
by God Himself.
Some seek to fill a hole with no bottom.
They're convinced that they should fill their lives with
more, more, more or attract more people and experiences
while totally ignoring their inner black hole...
their inner void... their inner emptiness.
Some people must always have others around them.
This is the quality that makes them feel validated.
They assume group-derived and group-dependent
identities as they progress
from scene to scene in social life.
For some... they are alive only in public.
Their identity is intrinsically associated with
all the arrivals and departures of social life.
Their lives may be full of activities,
but they do not have any degree of understanding of
why they do these things.
Their lives have no overall purpose.
They have no clear idea of their own nature or identity,
of who they really are.
Many people live their lives without ever reflecting
on life itself or its meaning for them.
The contemporary self seeks celebrity and connectivity
as a way of being seen by others and becoming known.
Their goal is to be recognized, visible and connected;
however, most still come up empty...
and remain untrue to themselves.
More things, people, and experiences...
however attractive they seem,
cannot truly satisfy that inner longing.
Some live exclusively in relation to others,
and what dissipates from their lives is...
Imagine how life would be
if we all put as much energy into developing
a loving relationship with God and ourselves...
as we do in our relationships with others.
Some people are naturally inclined
to spend time alone with themselves.
While, others cringe at the thought.
When our minds are busy and distracted
with things of the outside world,
our state is one of continual questioning.
It is one of response and reaction.
Inner "noise" can be just as troublesome
as outside noise when it comes to having
quiet time with God.
Preparing our hearts to hear from God
requires a focused effort.
Noise, whether outside or inside,
Focus is always found
at the feet of God.
"But Martha was distracted by her many tasks;
so she came to the Lord and asked,
‘Lord, do you not care that my sister has left me to do all
the work by myself?
Tell her then to help me.' But the Lord answered her,
you are worried and distracted by many things;
there is need of only one thing.
Mary has chosen the better part,
which will not be taken away from her.'"
Luke 10: 40-42
The Lord gently rebuked Martha
because she had forgotten what was important.
In order for God to speak to us,
we need to be in His presence
listening for His voice.
Every day God wants relationship-building time with us,
which means our highest priority must be...
time at His feet, in His presence.
Making time for daily devotion is critical to hearing God!
A time of Devotion and Prayer
is something to be taken seriously... and requires time.
The dictionary defines Devotion as
“the fact or state of being ardently dedicated and loyal.”
Using that definition,
we should seek to grow even more devoted to God
than we are to anything or anyone else.
When we are running around, doing things,
talking all the time and never getting comfortable enough
to be quiet in His presence,
it is difficult to come into that relationship which God has
called us to be in.
Being alone can be a very positive state of being.
Being alone is an opportunity... not a curse.
Nothing much happens in the quiet zone,
at least from the outsider's perspective.
People in the quiet zone often say that they need
a few days, or even longer, alone just to think -
or pray or meditate.
Without the old definitions of the world
and our accustomed activities to fall back on,
time in the quiet zone can create substantial introspection
and heightened self-awareness.
We can only be ourselves if we are often by ourselves.
Spending time alone allows us
to delight ourselves in God.
Out of this quiet time can emerge intuitions and insights
which provide the recipe for new beginnings.
Alone time gives us an opportunity for reflection,
contemplation and self-assessment.
In essence we get to know ourselves better.
We come to know who we are
and Whose we are.
Solitude gives one time to examine the course of one's life,
to reacquaint oneself with the nature of one's inner self,
and to think of ways to have one's dreams come true.
What most people can agree on is that
love blooms from within.
In the silence of the heart
we are able to recognize the reservoir of rich love within.
This quiet, timeless space creates a state
where our being can become more expansive,
and yet include the reservoir of that rich love within us.
We can look within to find the treasure.
As our awareness expands,
we are able to tap into the reservoir of our being
and identify the rich love that lies within.
We can, then, reclaim the love
that we thought was outside of ourselves.
God has placed within us a vacuum
that only He can fill.
Until God is there, nothing satisfies.
Solitude can bring us to a state of gentle peace.
The pure silence is a transforming peace in itself.
Solitude is a time that can be used for listening to God.
"For God alone my soul
waits in silence."
Solitude is something we choose.
From the outside,
solitude and loneliness look a lot alike.
Both are characterized by solitariness.
But all resemblance ends at the surface.
Solitude is a time for reflection and inner searching.
A few moments in quiet prayer...
can be all that we need
for our day to be transformed
from one of disorder to beauty and order.
Solitude is the state of being
alone without being lonely.
Solitude is a positive and constructive state
of engagement with oneself.
Solitude is desirable, it is a state of being alone
where we provide ourselves wonderful
and sufficient company.
Jesus prayed for guidance
in places of quiet solitude.
We often look for external signs to guide us
into a beginning,
but our inner attitudes toward life,
our renewed self-knowledge and our intuition
are really the hallmarks of our new beginnings.
By relying on our inner voice to tell us where to go in life,
we are likely to have more motivation
than if we were to depend on the expectations
provided to us by others.
If we are enslaved with outside love,
we are bound to live
like an unexpected mishap.
Solitude is a state of being alone
without being lonely and can lead to self-awareness.
Seeking and enjoying solitude
helps us to take care of our souls.
Quiet time allows us to do the things we want to do
and the things we love, without any compromise.
Alone time allows us to exhale and relax.
It allows us to get a fresh perspective.
Getting away from others can regenerate the inner self.
When we need to escape the world
we can turn to solitude for help.
Some may say we are crazy,
but solitude does not judge.
Instead, solitude will sit and listen
to all our thoughts and dreams.
Time alone gives us the opportunity
to pray, listen, ponder and plan.
Alone time allows us to get to the heart
of what we really need and think
as opposed to being told or influenced by others
and their opinions.
A few moments of absolute quiet
is like a breath of fresh air.
It gives us the opportunity to breathe in new life.
Quiet time involves an inner state of being...
as well as an outward condition.
Jesus regularly took time to be alone
with His Father in prayer.
Giving ourselves the ability to be alone
allows us to have a greater appreciation
for the time we spend with others.
It is important to find some balance in this;
and once we do,
we will enjoy our relationships even more.
Being alone is one of the great treasures in life.
Learning to accept solitude,
allows us to truly be with someone else...
and have it mean something.
It is only through spending time getting to know ourselves
that we can become whole.
If we follow Jesus' example...
if we can experience silence and aloneness
without being overpowered
by the urge to find distractions...
then we can be free from culture in order to change
culture in a powerful way
as Jesus did.
We need quiet times because we need God.
God is the One who makes sense of life for us,
in times of crisis or calm.
The next time you are finding it difficult
to get away from the noise and get alone with God,
remember who is standing in your way.
Who is greater!
In solitude, we withdraw from people, noise, cell phones,
e-mails and text messages... all the stimulation of life
to be with God.
We get away from all of the arenas in our lives,
all of our roles, all of the people
who are either cheering us on or telling us
where we ought to do something differently.
We get away from all of that to just be alone
Everywhere we go, even in our own homes,
there is some kind of noise to distract us,
from telephones, to televisions, to traffic.
But making time for daily devotion
is critical to hearing God!
Only God can complete us.
May we allow God to lead us
so that we will not keep
searching for people,
to fill an inner void
that only God can fill.