This morning I started reading a book by Beth Moore called The Beloved Disciple, which is a study following the disciple John as he journeyed with Jesus. I read about 30 pages in and took almost a page of notes as particular things jumped out at me from what she had to say and particular pieces of scripture that she used in her writing. I was particularly struck by a comment she made in regards to when the early disciples found Jesus praying by himself in the morning and tried to drag him back to all the people looking for him. The first thing she commented on was that Christ calls himself the “Morning Star” in the book of Revelation and that this particular star is actually the planet Venus and is visible very brightly in the morning sky to the east before dawn. I find it humbling and joyful that rising early in the stillness is the best time to greet the Morning Star and that even metaphorically Christ is there with us. The other thing that struck me was a comment about the growing maturity of the disciples and the evidence of their current spiritual maturity in this encounter.
“At first we are far more excited about corporate worship than we are about private worship. One reason is because frankly we don’t know Him well enough to have much to say One on One. We love the excitement of being in the masses of those who are enthralled by Christ, and we always will. However as we mature and Jesus becomes a greater and greater personal reality to us, I think we come to treasure time in the solitary places with Him more than anything. (p.39)”
I laughed at first in regards to the not having much to talk about comment because it is so true in my interpersonal connections with people and really fits with a the idea of a growing relationship with Jesus.It is easier to have a conversation with a group of people I don’t know than just one because we can play off of each other’s comments and connections and be able to build our relationship as a group and I’ve definitely experienced that point where you know someone well enough that even just being with them is a pleasurable experience even if you don’t say much at all. I started mulling over the idea of the idea of solitude being a more mature spiritual practice because I’ve spent time talking and thinking about differing worship and learning styles and people’s particular approaches to God and how we need to sometimes embrace the differences in our spiritual practices. When I consider the more mature followers of Jesus that I know and the presence that they have about them and the glimpses that I see into their own spiritual practices, solitude does come out more and more as a common element. For an extrovert like me, the idea of solitude with is still daunting and I am convicted again of my need to grow and learn to hear Christ’s voice in the still and quiet place.
As I sit and enjoy the time now with Christ’s quiet presence, I am awed and still feeling awkward. But that is why I need to keep at it.