Tag Archives: hope

Solitude, aloneness, and loneliness

island-lighthouseI need people.  No, I don’t need people!

You know, sometimes, I like to be lost in the fray of activity, the swirl of things-going-on, the hub of “what’s happening now” … people, busyness, events, and all the things we do to be connected in this social world.

Then, there is that time of retreat, of separateness from all that is “other”.  What about “ME”?  I just want my own thoughts, my own space and schedule, and no expectations to be anything other than just myself.  After awhile, that gets incredibly boring (being alone with myself), and the whole engagement/detachment cycle starts over again!

Do you ever think something like, “Where in the world am I in the midst of all this?” or “What is my place in the world?”

The ways I respond to solitude, aloneness, and loneliness make a great difference in my ability to re-engage with others.  It might be just an hour of down-time, or it might be the evening, or it could be a prolonged period.  Some busy parents never seem to have that moment!  Other people can have too much time on their hands (so, they become bloggers?!).  Sometimes in life, though, each of us has to face the feeling of being “alone”.

Is it good, or is it bad?  Well, I guess that has a lot to do with how we approach it.  These times remind me of priorities and focus; I have the chance through solitude to re-calibrate my purpose and direction.  Most of all, these times – be they brief or prolonged – allow me the opportunity to commune with God who loves me and calls me by name.  In these quiet and separate times I find myself both comforted and discomforted:  comforted to know that I am never really alone, discomforted to realize my existence is so interwoven with relationships – I’d better pay attention to them!

Where does detachment lead you in your thoughts and feelings?  Does it invite you into prayer, insight, and action, or does it head into a sense of lonely desperation?  Does being separate from the swirl of human activity make you pensive and creative, or do you become fidgety and anxious?  I’m familiar with these responses.  I try to let them remind me to draw renewal from the well of life.  There, at the well, is communion with my Creator, my Savior, and my Sustainer.  I unite again with the Lord of Life before returning to the interactions and tasks of being a social being – BEING FULLY HUMAN!

It really isn’t “Me, against the world!”  Instead, “What can ‘Me’ do … in … and for … and with ‘the world’?  What can ‘Me’ be in that place and with the people whom God invites me to share in this gift of existence?!”

I need people.  No, I don’t need people!  Who am I kidding? … I need people, and people need me!  You need people, and people need you!

Stuart Swann

Jesus taught …  And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and with all thy strength: this is the first commandment.   And the second is like, namely this, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. There is none other commandment greater than these.  (Mark 12:30-31, KJV)


I’m so stinkin’ slow!

finger-point-snail-slow-journeyWhy is it taking so long?!

Do you ever feel that you’re just not making progress?  You’re giving it everything you’ve got; you’re keeping a “can do” attitude; you pray, believe, hope, work … and still, you’re just not able to realize any forward movement to speak of!  It seems others are just blazing past you in life and success?

There are people whose achievements rise with rocket-like speed – they bolt  from the gate like the finest purebred, steaming ahead to win the race!  Then, there are the ones who just plod along with lives more modest and undetectable to the star-gazing world.  That “ordinary soul” isn’t any less loved by God or forgotten in the care of such abundant Providence.  The love of God, so perfectly shown in Jesus Christ, is given to every child, equally, no favoritism, although our courses may differ and our visible “worth” in the world’s eyes will vary.

Is it possible that the Almighty has a finger on you?  Today … right where you are?  Maybe, you feel stuck, or incredibly slow in your progress … it is for wanderers, and the lost, and the hurting that the reservoir of God’s unlimited supply can be most easily tapped Not to the mighty, but to the broken and contrite of heart is this Gift most readily revealed!  Self-made, snug and smug achievers are hard-pressed to see the need of such saving grace.  But who knows their end, or the sum of their days, or the struggles yet to come in their personal lives?  Only their Creator, Redeemer and Sustainer can know this – the same One from whom and to whom all folks must ultimately draw their strength and give their answers.

Does not he see my ways, and number all my steps? (Job 31:4)

Stuart Swann