Today a friend of mine gave a devotion on this very topic. The level of truth this rings is almost more than I can tell. He gave analogies of sports, calling a “timeout” to regroup and refocus. The example we all can resonate with is the timeout chair as a child. What do parents typically say? “Now sit here and think about what you have done,” much like my friend who was speaking, I hardly ever did that. My mind was (still is) active, and “timeout” might as well have been called “imagination station.”
As Christians we are called to “be still” at times. I find it fascinating that there are several moments in Scripture where Jesus is among crowds and shortly after you find Him taking a time out. Time to be with the Father. In Mark 1:34, Jesus was healing diseases. In Mark 1:35, very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Timeout!
In Luke 5:16, it is says that Jesus often drew to lonely places where He prayed.
There are times we need to eliminate the noises of the world so we can hear the voice of God and what it is He wants us to spend our time on. Our spirits actually crave solitude and silence, but our culture conditions us to be comfortable with crowds and noise. In her book, Living the Christ-centered Life Between Walden and the Whirlwind, author Jean Fleming says, “We live in a noisy, busy world. Silence and solitude are not twentieth-century words. They fit the era of Victorian lace, high-button shoes, and kerosene lamps better than our age of television, video arcades, and joggers wired with earphones. We have become a people with an aversion to quiet and uneasiness with being alone.”
So, leader, in our noisy kid ministry world (myself included), as we focus on the things to do this summer, prepare for fall, and many of us already living in Christmas, challenge yourself to make time to get away for solitude. Regroup, refocus, and re-energize.