And he said to them,
"Come away by yourselves
to a desolate place and rest a while."
It is difficult to be alone. Feeling uncomfortable in one's "aloneness" is cross generational. Just watch a lone teenager busily texting. Most adults wouldn't dream of sitting in a restaurant eating by themselves. Most often, when we find ourselves with the possibility of being alone, we seek to fill the void. In the midst of my own fatigue my thoughts have settled on these selected portions from Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh. I was struck with how many years have passed since the publication of this book and yet how pertinent, particularly to the life of a Jesus follower.
Jesus faithfully pulled away from the crowds and spent time alone. It was after these times of "aloneness" that miracles happened. If being alone produced such significant results shouldn't we seek it's location more diligently?
It is not the desert island, nor the stony wilderness, that cuts you off from the people you love; it is the wilderness of the mind, the desert wastes in the heart through which one wanders lost--a stranger to oneself and estranged from others too. If one is out of touch with oneself, then one cannot touch others. We are all, in the last analysis, alone. How one hates to think of oneself as alone. How one avoids it--it seems to imply rejection or unpopularity. We seem so frightened today of being alone that we never let it happen. Even if family, friends and movies should fail, there is still the radio or television to fill up the void.
We must re-learn to be alone.