Time alone has always been important to me.
I've always been one to enjoy being by myself. As a child I'd spend hours playing by the creek or riding my bike, or with my nose stuck in a book under the shade of a backyard tree. As a grownup, one of my dreams has always been to have a small cabin somewhere in the woods. Nothing fancy. Just a place to eat and sleep with a nice porch swing (and preferably indoor plumbing). I came close at one point. My father owned a cabin in a small historic town about two hours from here. Although it was in the middle of town, if I tried hard enough I could imagine it was deep in the middle of the woods when I stayed there by myself on retreats.
Unfortunately, when that cabin was sold a year or so ago, it left me with no place to hang my hat of solitude. The closest I've been able to come to recreating that time is one afternoon spent on a generous friend's backyard deck while she was out of town. Yes, it was sorely needed. God and I had a lot of catching up to do. No, it wasn't nearly enough. Not nearly enough.
I recently attended a Quaker service with my nephew. Having never been to a Meeting before, I didn't know what to expect. What I experienced was complete communion with God, uninterrupted and pure. One full hour of doing nothing but listening for and to the Holy Spirit speak, silent prayer, and silent praise. While I may not agree with all of the premises of the Quaker faith, I think I could easily drown in this for an hour a week and come up smiling.
Still, it's not enough. I need TIME, all in one fell swoop, not in bits and pieces here and there. God, do you think you could work that out for me? You alone know my every need....
Psalm 42:1 - 2
As the deer longs for streams of water, so I long for you, O God. I thirst for God, the living God. When can I go and stand before him? (NLT)