What You Believe When You’re Alone

They have us surrounded.
You feel it, too, don’t you?
Them and their opinions.
You know who they are.
The people who know things – for sure.
For instance, they know what movies we should attend
and which ones we should boycott.
They understand all proposed bills and laws
in all the states
and how we should respond to them.
They even know how Jesus wants us to spend our time,
money, energy, and voice.
And they’re everywhere.
I don’t know about you but
sometimes I read a blog leaning one way about, say, the Noah movie or
the Son of God flick,
and I think that blogger makes sense,
until then, I read a blog with a different view,
and that one makes sense, as well.
I’m not a double-minded person
but it’s easy for me to see through other peoples’ eyes
and appreciate their perspective.
This has its drawbacks.
Some issues aren’t this way.
There are some divisive topics on which I have a clear position,
I know where I stand.
You know how I’m sure I’ve reached certainty on those topics?
Because I believe the same thing whether I’m surrounded
What you believe when you’re alone – THAT is what you believe.
This is true of Christians and non-Christians alike.
Getting off away from the crowd, social media, political pundits, and spin-masters
sorts us out
in way that can’t happen when we’re in the press of the horde.
Jesus frequently drew aside to lonely places.
Imagine you’re surrounded by crowds who worship you, want something from you, are waiting breathlessly for your every word.
Imagine there are also, in the crowd, people who hate you, suspect you’re from the devil, plot to trip you up, expose you somehow, destroy you eventually.
And imagine there are also a handful of followers who truly get you as much as any of them can but you know they have no idea what lies just down the road.
How do you manage that kind of stress?
“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” Mark 1:35 (ESV)
We have to get alone.
There have to be regular times when we shut off the noise,
mute the voices,
and face our own solitary selves.
What we believe when we’re alone is what we believe.
Are you drowning in the opinions of others?
Are you weary of choosing sides about movies, scandals, celebrity lifestyles, or political soundbites?
Does your head spin with so many messages about what you should be doing that all you’re really doing is reading the messages?
Get alone.
Talk with God.
Listen to God.
Just sit or walk with your thoughts.
Time alone is the remedy.
Time alone is the purifier.
Time alone is the strainer through which to drain the noise from the nuggets,
the fallacies from the facts,
the clamor from the claims that will weather the test of truth.
It’s uncomfortable at first,
to draw apart,
to isolate,
to sequester,
to hide.
But we aren’t called to be comfortable.
And when the initial discomfort falls away
like a nightmare dissipates with morning,
then the quiet culls through the babel
and your soul finds rest in God alone.
Your mind can fix on truth.
Your thoughts are free to recreate.
You know what you believe.
You inhale.
Am I alone with this? What do you think?

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    The Conversation

  1. tina hunt says:

    Have you ever read Oats book, Nurturing Silence in a Noisy Heart? Good stuff. I was just trying to write about this. I’m at FCWC, and as I sat in the cafeteria, the noise began to have a feeling, a pulse all of its own. And it hurt like someone was beating on me. There I was in a setting where connecting is King and networking Queen…and all I wanted to do is run away. So I did. And in the stillness, the quiet…God.

    • Colleen says:

      Tina, I love what you said, because I’ve felt that, too–though I’ve never heard anybody else articulate it!
      “…the noise began to have a feeling, a pulse all of its own. And it hurt like someone was beating on me.”
      I have a hearing condition that makes it impossible for me to hear someone speaking to me, face to face, when there is background noise. It’s my up close, and personal object lesson regarding my inability to hear God when there’s noise.

  2. Colleen says:

    How true, Lori. Silence is golden. 🙂

  3. Ah yes, alone and quiet with God.
    It’s a need for me.
    I’m with ya.

  4. In this case you are not alone! We’re here too in agreement.

  5. Getting alone is a must for me. I recharge, regroup, and God sorts through my thoughts and sifts the fallacy from fact. Then peace comes. And I’m rested and ready for more. Thanks Lori for this post.

  6. Jonesey says:

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  7. Jonesey says:

    Definitely not alone! This was the perfect remedy tonight for a soul that feels a bit parched despite everyone trying to give me the “right” water. As opposed to many opinions I read from well-meaning and devoted followers of Christ, your post welcomes wonder, mystery, and questions. This is all I ask. Because the more I know, the less I seem to know. I love hearing about the convictions of others and how they arrived there but I also want to know that the thoughts of someone on a different journey with the same Lord are welcome. Thanks for this!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Since I was a child, solitude has been a necessary thing for me. When I accepted Christ as Savior and Lord, no one in my large family could understand what I was doing. They all had something to say about it. Not until they became Believers did they understand. They were a noisy, busy family with this isolette who went to her room when things got noisy. Even today, I enjoy my solitude. It is in those wonderful times I can pray, consider problems/decisions I’m making, do creative thinking about my bible teaching, reach deep inside and find Christ waiting with the answers, the peace, the security of knowing He’s there. Your blog helped me understand I’m not a nutcase who just doesn’t like being with people. I enjoy being with people. I just have to get away alone often to feel complete. Now I know it’s Christ who completes me and returns me to the crowd energized. Thanks! MOMMA

  9. Not alone. And this is a great prescription for clearing my head of the noise when I start to feel like I’ve lost myself.

    Thanks for the reminder!

  10. Anonymous says:

    I like your blog. Keep up the good work