Chapter 7: The Discipline of Solitude
“ But if we possess inward Solitude we do not fear being alone, for we know that we are not alone. Neither do we fear being with others, for they do not control us. In the midst of noise and confusion we are settled into a deep inner silence. Whether alone or among people, we always carry with us a portable sanctuary of the heart.” - (pg 97).
Richard Foster has addressed a very interesting issues in this Discipline of Solitude. Many of us in this day and age fear being alone and silent, I included. That is why the Television is always on, the radio in the car is always on and we love being where people are. From Jesus' example, “The seeking out of solitary places was a regular practice. So it should be for us” (pg 97). Foster reminds us that “ without silence there is no solitude” (pg 98).
It is interesting that Silence is intimately related to trust (pg 101) and the fruits of silence is to let God be our justifier (pg 101). We should also not be afraid of the “dark night of the soul” moments when there is dryness, aloneness and lostness ( pg 102), but recognize the dark night for what it is, be glad that the loving God is lovingly drawing you away from every distraction so that you can see Him clearly. Rather than chafing and fighting become still and wait (pg 103).
Foster continues to say “we always carry with us a portable sanctuary of the heart” and this is a big lesson for me. He has also given very practical ways to help us have moments of silence. For example, early morning moments in bed before we wake up, solitude of a morning cup of coffee before work, the solitude during the early rush hour traffic, while walking home from work and even just slipping outside before bed to taste the silent night (pg 105 -106).We can also go further and designate little places designated for silence and solitude like a special room in our houses, a spot in the...