It once sounded sad to me to go alone – it felt lonely, isolating, and even depressing. Even to this day – the image of going alone has a weightiness to it.
However, I have also learned there is great goodness and benefit in it. We know Jesus often went off alone to pray. He even spent time in the desert for 40 days, alone. Clearly, there was a lot going on for Him during these times, and that they were absolutely essential to Him.
Today, I now plan mini trips to take alone. Most often, if not always, these trips are to the beach to either run in a race, scuba dive, and/or continue my USCG master boating credentials.
I’ll drive 8 or 11 hours, depending on location, one way, and invest in a few days of activity at the beach. At times, I’m up by 3am each day during these trips to get where I need to be, and I also get to bed fairly early.
However, I’m happy to do it, and have realized how much I actually enjoy these times. I meet new people on the dive boats and during the races, and rarely actually feel “lonely” though I am alone.
I have also found these times to be enlightening, as I discover more insights about myself – like who I am when I am completely alone, and no one knows me. I can do anything I want, and so what do I do? I exercise, explore the ocean, eat delicious food by the seaside, and enjoy a good nights rest after a long day of activities in the sunshine.
So actually, these times going alone, have helped me realize just how NOT alone I really am. Being alone with Him, has also helped me learn more about myself and just how deep God’s care really is. Investing in this time alone has taught me how to slow my mind, to be more present, more quiet, and more integrated emotionally, physically and spiritually.
I find that I often think about the beauty of God’s creation, and my various blessings, such as my wonderful wife, and my precious adult children.
In actuality, these trips are very much spiritual retreats. For truth be told, I discover more and more just how good God really is on them. And I find myself expressing deep gratitude to Him throughout each day.
Therefore, by going alone, often times, it can be just what we need to help us realize and learn more about ourselves, and also, just how not alone we truly are.