While Jesus was in one of the towns, a man came along who was covered with leprosy. When he saw Jesus, he fell with his face to the ground and begged him, "Lord, if you are willing, you can make me clean!'
Jesus reached out his hand and touched the man. "I am willing" he said. "Be clean!" And immediately the leprosy left him.
Then Jesus ordered him, "Don't tell anyone, but go, show yourself to the priest and offer the sacrifices that Moses commanded for your cleansing, as a testimony to them."
Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.
What part of my day is best for creating space for solitude?
In Business Terms
Christian solitude is often misunderstood. Moderns tend to think of it as "getting away from it all." In the Chicago area where I live, those who can afford it buy cabins on a lake in Wisconsin. In addition to commuting an hour or more each day for work, many then commute several hours north on weekends to find rest from the craziness of suburban living. A friend recently sold his townhouse in Wisconsin, though, because the weekend commute defeated the purpose of owning it. He and his wife and kids returned Sunday night exhausted instead of rested.
While nature and beauty are nice if they're available, they are not necessary for the Christian person who wants to quiet his or her soul to listen for the voice of God. Solitude, as the late theologian and writer Henri Nouwen wrote, is simply creating space for God. That means carving out time in our schedule to be quiet, to listen actively for God to speak to our spirit.
So often during times of solitude, I don't sense God speak. Nothing seems to happen. My mind always wanders. But as I've created space for solitude, I've discovered its real benefit is that during the day, my spiritual radar has gradually become more sensitive to the things of God. Even in the midst of a stressful, fast-paced day, I can detect the gentle impressions of the Holy Spirit.
David L. Goetz
Something to Think About
Every character of great spiritual development is marked by solitude.
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