As a kid, I spent every summer with my Great Grandparents in the mountains of California. When I say, “spent the summer,” I mean they picked me up the day I got out of school and brought me home a couple of days before school started. Just in time to get that year’s school clothes.
Another thing I should be clear about is that time in the mountains was not spent in a house. We were literally in the woods away from everyone. We would go into town one day every couple of weeks to get food and pay bills. Then it was right back to our camp site.
My playground was deer trails and flowing creeks. My friends were mostly imaginary as there were no other people around. My hobbies were fishing, catching chipmunks in a bird-cage, and floating on an inner-tube in the cold mountain streams.
As I got a little older, I got more introspective. It didn’t really occur to me that this wasn’t what most people did or how they spent their time alone. After all, I didn’t exactly have any friends around to compare notes. What I did learn is a lot about myself and what I believed! The problem, I didn’t have a Christian foundation so instead, it was my opinion on right and wrong.
Jumping ahead to now, It struck me that God promises He will place His laws in people’s hearts and in their minds. When I compare what I considered right back then to what I think now, they are pretty darn close. My beliefs have been refined and shaped by Jesus since then, but the basics were there.
As a result of growing up this way, I find that I often need to spend time alone. It has become a practice for me to examine myself and my motives. The more I do this, the more I am so thankful that Jesus wants a close, personal relationship. Not one of those formal prayer, hope He is listening, kind; but the heart-felt, tell me all about it, kind that has depth and meaning.
In talking with people, I have concluded that spending that much time in their own thoughts is not something most people want to do. In fact, they will look for every kind of distraction so they don’t have too. The truth is, it is very humbling when you spend time with just you and Jesus. He has a way of sharing things you would rather forget.
The beauty of it is, in this time alone, Jesus takes the opportunity to spend quality time, not just quantity time. He knows our needs and desires and when we just need to sit and know a friend is with us, He is quiet. When we wonder about events in our lives and their effects, He has answers. When we are in a jovial, joking mood, He can be humorous. When we just need someone to listen, you can know that your passionate friend is there with you, taking in your pains, thoughts, and ideas.
Throughout the New Testament, we read that Jesus went off on His own, leaving His disciples and other followers behind so He could spend time with His Father in Heaven. He wants no less for us. It is a blessing that we are given as a result of His time on the Cross. We can spend personal, one-on-one time with Him, discussing every thought and circumstance in our lives and knowing that we have a friend who will not condemn us for our shortcomings or make fun of us for our thoughts.
The one problem that I have seen is how people will do what ever they can to avoid self-reflection and contemplation. Time alone with Jesus tends to lead to open honesty that is not always up to par with what we believe of ourselves. We don’t really like facing reality. But here’s the good news – this time alone with Jesus, when you are open and honest, leads to a deep peace that only He can give. In that time, He wants to take your burdens on Himself so that you can have the joyful life He promised you when you trust in Him.
Don’t misunderstand, this is not a one shot deal. You don’t get to lock yourself in your room, turn off the radio for five minutes, and think you just had a meaningful meeting of the spiritual minds. You see, a relationship is not one-sided and Jesus is real. He wants time to share His thoughts with you also. I am not just talking about His thoughts on what you should and shouldn’t do.
As you spend more time with Him and you get to know and trust each other intimately, He will share His feelings, hurts, joy, and more with you, also. This relationship is designed to be eternal and as you grow closer, you will find you are taking on many of His attributes. You’re still and individual, but you will see things more clearly.
Don’t be afraid of spending time alone with Jesus. He truly wants to take on your burdens and share His joy with you. Your time alone isn’t about bashing yourself for all the things you did wrong, it’s about focusing on Jesus and the love He has for you. This time is personal, between you and Him. He’s not a gossip that will run down the street telling your deepest secrets. Instead, He is one who will hear your deepest secrets and help you resolve them. He is known as the Great Counselor (one of His names), the Prince of Peace (another name He goes by) and He will always be there for you, no matter what time of day or night you want to get together.
In His opinion of your time together, He treasures it. There is nowhere He would rather be than with you, alone with your thoughts. Take some time out of your busy day and consider this. I think you will find the more you think about it, the more you will want to spend time with your best friend. The more you spend with Him, the more you will realize He wants to spend time with you. And, the more time you spend together, the more you will realize you have absolutely nothing to fear when it comes to spending time alone.
God Bless You and your time alone (together).