Click above to listen to Solitude from my 2001 debut album Walk in the Light as you read. If you enjoy, consider purchasing the song, album download, or CD from iTunes, Amazon or stantonlanier.com (where sheet music is also available).
What is your favorite way to practice solitude?
When I was in high school and college I worked several summers at a canoe rental in the Florida panhandle (Adventures Unlimited is still going strong and has beautiful canoe trips and awesome zip line courses – today’s photo is from a return visit to the Coldwater River in 2012).
My favorite job was called “the top.” A co-worker would drop me off at 7 a.m. at the beginning of the twelve mile day trip. At the same time other co-workers would unhitch trailers full of canoes and drive back to home base. Within a few minutes it was just me and one hundred canoes to unload. For the next hour, one by one, I would carry them on my shoulders down to the sandbar beach. It was an awesome physical workout, but here is why I loved this job so much…
If I could finish by 8 a.m. or maybe a little sooner if I hustled, I knew I would have twenty to thirty minutes to soak in the cool, clear, shallow river (before the busloads of canners would start arriving). Or, I could lie back on a cushion in a canoe and just listen to the breeze blowing through the tops of pine trees, or the birds singing to start a new morning. I wasn’t thinking about it a lot then, but looking back, I was learning to practice solitude. It was refreshing and energizing. It made my attitude more positive and my work more productive.
To this day, I can draw on those memories, and I know what a difference it can make to be alone, to be still, and to take in the moment. Whether taking a morning jog or swim, or sitting in my den before the world awakes, I like to listen for God’s gentle whisper in these moments. I am alone, but I am not lonely. The more I practice solitude, the more enriching it becomes. Four motivating reasons for me are: 1. Refreshment, 2. Energy, 3. Positive Attitude, and 4. Productive Work.
How could some moments of solitude shed light on a life decision you are facing?
“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.” – Mark 1:35