Because the holidays keep us so busy and stressed out with all the schedule conflicts, family dysfunctions, and general chaos, you need to take time to be alone.
When you are by yourself you can be yourself
Many people think that family get-togethers and social events help cure the pangs of loneliness. However, surveys tell us that the loneliest people are those who are constantly around others. Time alone is soul therapy.
When you are by yourself, you can drop the mask. You do not have to put on a front or try to please the populous. You cannot get to know yourself by being among others. You do not get to know the Lord in any deep sense by only having a crowd-powered relationship with Him. Only when you are alone do you find you are not really alone at all, but closer to your Creator than ever.
Jesus valued being alone. Often His disciples went looking for Him and found Him up on a mountain away from the maddening throng. At times, He called them to come up and away from the grind of daily life.
Staying connected is killing us
Modern technological “advancements” keep us in touch with one another. You can post, like, and tweet with your friends all around the globe. Even then, you are putting on the image of who they think you are or who you want to be. If you live every waking moment in the domain of the screen (computer, TV, iPad, phone, GPS, DSi) you will never unplug long enough to be yourself. You will adopt the notion that your life is another virtual reality show.
Disconnect from social demands by practicing the discipline of silence. Stop and take time to be quiet. Find a place where you can shut off all noise. You may not like what you find. You may find what you have been running from for years. You may discover you are not the person you have been trying to be. You might refocus and find the path God is calling you to.
A quiet voice and alone time
Elijah wept to God, complaining that he was all alone. There, once he was away from his ministry demands and finally experienced aloneness, Elijah came to see that he was not alone at all. There, alone on a mountainside, Elijah looked for God in the fire, the tornado, and the earthquake. God was not in the loud and demanding moments. He met Elijah as a calm, quiet voice (I Kings 19). Are you slowing down enough to hear Him?
Jacob had surrounded himself with people his whole life. One day, realizing his life was in danger, he had to get a hold of God. He sent his family away and was left alone. There he could finally wrestle with what had been holding him back. There he found his true strength, got a spiritual breakthrough, and walked different afterward (Genesis 32). Will you risk getting alone?
Do not let the demands of the holidays steal away your chances for holy days. One of the best times to find both silence and solitude is early in the morning. Get ahead of your day before it gets ahead of you.
In this season when we take time to honor the Lord, let’s make sure we do just that by discovering this remedy of aloneness.