This Lent I have started a new series called “Deeper.” The idea is to take the six weeks of Lent to go deeper with our faith, and to go deeper in our relationship with God. Many of us barely scratch the surface when it comes to examining our relationship with God. This Lent, let’s try and go deeper. Each Sunday I will look at a practice that can help us connect on a deeper level with God. The problem, as I see it, is that many of these things that can help us go deeper, can also have a dangerous side. This Sunday I explore solitude.
Solitude is an important part of the spiritual life. Jesus pursued solitude, and was often drawn out of his own yearning for solitude by the needs of the people. In fact, the Bible story for this sermon includes Jesus withdrawing to a deserted place, only to be ‘tracked down’ by Peter. When Jesus was told that there was a crowd waiting for him, he says, “Let’s go the other way.” I take a closer look at this story, and this aspect of Jesus’ personality that we often forget.
The problem with solitude, however, is that there is a fine line between it and loneliness. The same empty house that can be exhilarating to the exhausted parent can be crippling to the newly widowed. I encourage us all this Lent to “seek solitude and redeem loneliness.”