Most of my miles are logged with friends, but when our schedules don’t mesh, I’m happy to head out alone with my thoughts.  An unlimited supply of knotty issues gets resolved in the solitude.  That’s one reason I cherish every mile I log when we visit Colorado.  Every run I squeeze in is guaranteed to be solo since my family prefers warmth and sleep.  I’m working on one of them though, and I think she’s about ready to admit it might actually be awesome to run up a mountain, in the crisp air, while the sun rises – really, who can argue with that?  I can’t wait until she’s by my side, but until then, I will run the trails alone and clear out the cobwebs in my head mile by mile.

And he withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and knelt down and prayed, Luke 22:41

On a visit to Colorado last week, we saw several photographs of mountain scenes.  To my husband, some of them appeared lonely – beautiful, majestic, and humbling – but, lonely.  I had to agree when I took a second look, but after I thought about it, I concluded that wasn’t a bad thing.  It reminded me of a concept in a Bible study I did a while ago.  The idea is, as you get closer to God, you get further away from those around you.  I didn’t like the concept, and I quickly dismissed it.  I cherish my relationships with those around me and consider them to be positive influences on my relationship with God.  And, I didn’t have any interest in furthering myself from them.  But, now that I give it a second thought, I’ve concluded I grossly simplified and misunderstood the concept.  The closer we get to God, the less we are swayed by the negative pulls of the world and those around us.  No matter how much we love those around us, they are human and subject to the same temptations we encounter.  Can those around us help us get closer to God?  No doubt.  They can encourage us, teach us, and inspire us to be more like Christ, and they are invaluable to our journey.  And, we are called to love them and do the same for them.  However, the journey has one destination … God.  It’s only through the gift of His grace that we are able to hand over our sins with a repentant heart and resist temptation.  If we want to get to know Him, we have to spend time with just Him, away from everyone else in the world.  And, the closer we get, the less the things of this world will matter.  This last week of Lent, let’s seize the opportunity to turn inward, evaluate, and clear out the cobwebs in our heart.  The closer we grow to Him, the better equipped we will be to help those around us do the same.  And, I want everyone around me to end up at the same glorious destination.

Dear God, please help me cherish solitude and make time for just You.