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"Importance of Having Time Alone"

During my Easter bring break, I had plenty of time to go hiking and walking in the mountains of upstate NY. I love the outdoors. I always have and always will. I am indebted to the Christian Service Brigade (CSB), an organization geared to connecting young boys with their fathers, for exposing me to the great outdoors and appreciating the beauty of God's creation.

Spending time in natural settings is actually one of the best places for me amidst my crazy, suburban schedule. Getting away is something I need to do in order to refocus , recharge, and get perspective at that stage of my life. It's a big part of me, a necessity - if anything - to stay on course with the purpose God has set forth for me during this season of my life.

Christ modeled it during his times of ministry. He had a public side and a very private side to his short lived ministry. You recognize this in the gospels whereby Christ, with his twelve companions, spent time with the many that gathered to hear him speak and watch him heal the sick. But if you carefully read the text, you'll also notice this interchange of being in very public settings, while at other times he's alone with just the twelve. Furthermore, you will also find him by himself in prayerful discourse with his own father.

There is so much here to unpack and glean from this observation but, without trying to unearth all the theological implications this may have for our lives, I've simply come to appreciate that pattern for my life, that time of getting alone, receiving clarity, and getting back on course.

I'm not as sharp as others would have me think; I need that constant re-alignment. Even with my walk with God, I feel like a dog who needs to be on a close leash with his master since I so easily wander away from what I know to be best for me. Therefore, these times of being "alone" is not so much feeling alone as it is times of being with God, times of sensing his love, even when I don't feel worthy of his love.

These mountains remind me of that walk with God and the intimacy I sense when I have nothing to distract me. His creation reminds me of how great he is, (yes, you heard me correct), even when I suffer or feel estranged from the love I desire from Him. I don't want to cheapen my relationship with God, even though I probably do more damage to our relationship by not being faithful to him as he always is with me. But it's these "alone" times when I sense He is still there.

- Justin