Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Solitude

I have been reading the discipline of solitude chapter in Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster.  So far I am enjoying it.  I haven't read the whole book right through.  I know that is the way books are meant to be read, but I decided not to.  Mainly because I am in a period of God-forced solitude in my life.   God seems to have a purpose for it right now, so I am trying to learn why.  (Sidenote, I decided to get over myself and buy a Message Bible. ) 

I had a really hard, lonely Sunday since Peter was out of the house most of the day.  And he also took a nap when he was home.  I'm not upset, just explaining being alone!  The kids were sick so I couldn't go to church.  

I haven't finished reading the chapter yet by any means, but the first point I have come to that I don't understand is that we are to have solitude and fellowship together.  I mean that you cannot have one without the other.  I completely agree with this assertion.  I also know that lately have had more solitude than fellowship.  On pages 97-98 he says
"Therefore, we must seek out the recreating stillness of solitude if we want to be with others meaningfully.  We must seek the fellowship and accountability of others if we want to be alone safely.  We must cultivate both if we are to live in obedience."

I agree completely with these ideas.  I am endeavoring to be obedient, but how is it possible if a meet aloneness at ever turn.  

Can we have fellowship primary through modern means?  I'm speaking of telephone and internet.  At this point that's what I have.  I have read at couple of blogs that say we can't get all we need in terms of fellowship primarily these ways.  I just wonder if that's true.   Just writing this and making it real is an accountability in itself.  Anybody who reads this can ask me questions on this subject whenever they like.  

I have to wonder what good work God is doing in me right now.  I don't question whether He is refining me or if it is good, but what exactly I am supposed to be learning right now.  I think that there is a difference, and it isn't a slight one either.  I show faith in believing He is holding me in the fire.  

That's how far I have gotten for now.  

4 comments:

Montay said...

Wow that was a bit deep!

Mom said...

About solitude and fellowship together -
Seeking both might not mean finding them in equal amounts, but that you would at least be given enough fellowship to keep you from becoming Howard Hughes.

About what are you are supposed to be learning -
When I was around your age, I found an essay that has encouraged me a lot. It's called “Time” and it even has a reference to God and squash (though I don't think it's scientifically accurate). I think you might like it, too: http://withchrist.org/MJS/time.htm

Ruth said...

I read the link. I found it very interesting. Except that it only takes a squash two or three months to grow. And besides isn't that how God designed them?! I am also concerned about the feelings statement. Since I primarily experience things through emotion it is hard for me to not rely on them. I realize that this is to encourage us that these times are normal and to be expected. But for me, a primarily emotion based person, it seems daunting.

gary & kimber said...

I think that although both are important, it's not always possible to have an equal balance. Some "seasons" of life might be a bit more heavy on solitude, while others may be heavier on the fellowship side. I think as long as you're trying to connect with people, and waiting to see what God is teaching you, you're handling it with grace!