"Yet He frequently withdrew to the wilderness to pray." ~ Luke 5:16
Do you ever feel the call of the open trail or the open road? Whatever your version, however He calls, I believe He wants to meet us there. I don’t recall exactly what it was, ‘round about middle school, that taught me the Australian Aboriginal tradition of walkabout. I’m relatively certain it was a piece of literature, and I’m absolutely certain I’ve never done it “right.”
That said, it is a powerful practice I’ve taken on in my own small way ever since, and am so glad I have.
The reason I bring it up now is, I happen to be off and away for a stretch.
And so, it begins.
In the moments when I step away from the pace of the world, He meets me where I am and His Still Small Voice is that much more clear.
Granted, He always meets us where we are, and His voice is there for those with the ears to hear, but there’s something special about stepping away, stepping out of the normal flow of life, and saying “Here I am, Lord.”
If the Savior of the world, a perfect man, God made flesh, needed solitude, it seems to me a wise practice to cultivate.
It doesn’t have to be a true walkabout, perhaps it’s simply going into our inner room, getting still, and knowing to the depths of our core and in our very cells that He is God.
Alone with Him, period, anywhere. Alone with Him in His creation, two opportunities that are so very powerful.
Though He is always with us, I believe there is extraordinary power to being alone with Him, fully focused and committed, on purpose, for His purpose… which He invariably seems to work out in us, whatever that may be.
When we’re willing to take that time to consciously be with Him and Him alone, to be in stillness with ourselves, we have an opportunity to ask questions the noise of the world does not always otherwise allow.
… and, get answers.
We are able to introspect, reflect, and gain perspective.
By the way, this is not always easy. It can be a bit of a challenge at first, whether we’re in that inner room trying to quiet the to-do list of the day that’s tapping us on the shoulder, or whether it’s a longer journey that requires us to get real with self, to face our own company, to make peace with the what is and what isn’t of who we are in that moment.
Whether we’ve put the expectations on ourselves, or they’ve been placed there by culture, by others, by whomever whatever, we must make peace with our victories and failings. We have to take a good long look at them and choose, no matter what expectations were exceeded or unmet, we are who we are in that moment, we’ve done what we’ve done, we haven’t done what we haven’t, and we need to choose for ourselves that God has us right where He wants us… no matter what we think or what judgments we have of ourselves or our circumstances.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll get the “Well, but I should have done this, that, or the other thing, by now” blues. We really do have to stop that. Even if He is required to make beauty of ashes of us and our lives, He can and He will… but, only (or rather, most effectively) if we step outside of the noise, set down the baggage of the past, good, bad, or otherwise, and allow Him to powerfully move us forward in His plan for His purpose.
The other empowering facet of setting aside all of the noise and nonsense that comes from the past is, it makes it a lot easier and more vital/vibrant to live with ourselves and to do so with an eager sense of the promise of every single day. After all, no matter where we go, that’s where we are. Each of us is stuck with us. Don’t we want a healthy beautiful relationship with self. And, for me, what makes that truly possible, truly feasible, wholly doable, is… His mercies are new every morning. His grace, His mercy, His forgiveness, that’s what gives me the freedom and peace to powerfully step up and step out.
We stand in His presence, receive His forgiveness for ourselves, and authentically choose to walk forth in the whispers and leadings of His voice moving forward.
By the way, this is not a one time deal.
It’s powerful to go through this process daily in our inner room, to be able to walk in His light and love, sprinkling salt. It can be deep deep layers of powerful to step out of the race and take the time to really dig in.
Then, we rinse and repeat.
Old things crop back up, new humanness must be confronted, dealt with, and set aside, and on we go…
Rising and shining daily to show up and do His work in the world, whatever that is for you.
Maybe you’re called to be the best children’s librarian in your charming little hometown (I pray we still have those!) or the most epic global CEO the world has seen to date. Perhaps you’re a beautiful homeschoolin’ mama, or an influencer to be reckoned with (though, if I’m being honest, I still don’t know if I 100% know what that is.)
Your role in the world is between you and the Big Guy. But, what I do know is, we’re all apt and able to do it better and more effectively if we can get still with Him in solitude, if we take the time and make the effort to lay aside the noise and nonsense of the past, and walk through life daily in the power and presence of the Most High, as His daughter, as His son.
You are a child of the King. What does it look like to walk through the world with that kind of bearing?
Do you sing and dance through life, in His joy, like David?
Do you have the eyes to see the countless miracles in each and every moment, in all of the vast and varied corners of creation?
Do you have the discernment to hear and implement His wisdom and leading?
I so yearn for that constant exchange, the ability to persistently walk in His presence and ways. This helps me get there.
Walking in His radiance and light and love is something we find in the inner room, in a walkabout with the Father, in whatever practices we have to be still, get who He is, who we are, whose we are, and really be with Him. And when we do that work, first of all, it no longer seems like work at all; but most importantly, we are then able to powerfully bring that same light and love to the world in turn.
These are the kinds of things we need to do in order to get there.
I propose (of course) honoring our personal journey with Him with the daily stillness and solitude, as He instructs. But, I also highly recommend finding your own way into the practice of walkabout. Getting still with Him for longer periods of time bears so much fruit, I really can’t even explain. I always come away with His Truth blossoming in my heart, with clear direction and guidance, sometimes it’s even highly specific, but always and perhaps most importantly, I am able to walk powerfully in His PEACE. Glory, Hallelujah! Thank You, Abba!!!
I don’t know about you, but clearly I highly value the power of solitude, and I think we can and should all endeavor to explore further, plumb the depths, and seek His Still Small Voice in the silence and stillness by ever increasing measure.
THANK YOU for the gift of You, for the gift of creation, for the gift of being able to take time away daily and by larger measures to tune our ear to hear Your voice and our hearts, minds, and souls to Your presence, that we may walk in Your power in the world. Thank You, that you are such a sweet, sweet Father. Thank You for making us part of Your story.
We need You. We choose You. We love you.
All these things we pray in Your most Holy Names,
"Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted over the earth." ~ Psalm 46:10
"But when you pray, go into your inner room, shut your door, and pray to your Father, who is unseen. And your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you." ~ Matthew 6:6
"Early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up and slipped out to a solitary place to pray." ~ Mark 1:35
"You will keep in perfect peace the steadfast of mind, because he trusts in You." ~ Isaiah 26:3
"And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." ~ Philippians 4:7
May the Good Lord bless you and keep you, friends... always, in all ways. Amen.
Bonus song of praise... ♥ (LOVE this!! ☺️)
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