20180405

Why it Is (Sometimes) Good for Man to Be Alone

I had never given thought to the idea of searching out solitude. Things were going great. I was a Grammy Award-winning music executive with a wife and three beautiful kids. I had so many amazing friends and an exciting community. Solitude — why would I need that? After all, we weren’t built for solitude: “It is not good for the man to be alone” (Genesis 2:18). We go through life better together.

However, there is power to be had, wisdom to be found, and intimacy to be discovered when we deliberately step aside from community and carve out time to go solo.

Jesus understood this... 
He always traveled in community, but when he needed to recharge, he left the pack and went solo. In the desert, on the other side of Galilee, in the garden of Gethsemane, and in many other examples, Jesus sought out solitude. There is a depth of understanding that cannot be gained in the company of others. For me, going solo transformed my life.

My wife walking out — leaving me to be a single parent of three young girls — was the best thing to happen to me. I was alone. Really alone.

I wouldn't wish this situation on anyone, but this is precisely what it took to get my attention — to help me see how being alone, with the bottom dropped out, was the pathway to true peace and a strength I hadn’t known before. Over the next 8 1/2 years of being a single parent, I discovered the gift and power of solitude. In fact, I came to crave it. But it didn’t start easy.

Seek a state of knowing. 
When we move deliberately toward solitude — real solitude — we are reminded about the holy order of things unseen. In our daily life, we often lose sight of Who is really beside us, Who is for us, Who is bigger and stronger than anything we face. When we are still, we come to know how little we need to stress. The roles we play in life — executive, homemaker, teacher, plumber — don’t matter to our Father, because His pursuit of us is exclusively to connect to our heart, regardless of how the world (or even we) see ourselves. He wants to remind us of the power He brings to us, Power to overcome the world.

Solitude communicates without words. 
When I started practicing solitude, I would remain in this state of “knowing” for as long as I could, letting my mind slow down and letting the Holy Spirit comfort, strengthen, and recharge my soul. This solitude always brought exactly what I needed. Even if I couldn’t articulate what I was lacking or worrying about, these times of solitude made my soul open to my Father’s care and provision supernaturally, without having to use words. He knows what we need more than we do. Our job is merely to come to Him and make our souls available, beyond words.

If my life hadn’t fallen apart, I never would have discovered the power of solitude. My hope for you, however, is that solitude will not have to be imposed on you for you to discover the power and peace it can bring. I hope that you will deliberately seek it out — daily, even. The secret of solitude goes beyond what we understand with our minds. It provides connection to the intimate heart of our Father and to the power that only He can bring. And trust me, as someone who spent eight years raising three young girls on his own: God’s power is far greater than anything we are capable of on our own.

[written by Robert Beeson]