The Power of Being Alone

K-Colorado's summer of 2009 is all but over.

I see it in the Warming Hut - the shelves are empty.

I hear it outside my office - the quiet periods of mountain stillness are lengthening.
Most of all, I sense it in the faces and in the conversations of our gifted staff - they're all going off to far-flung places where they'll continue to seek and to find more exactly what God is making them to be.

Camp is emptying out.
And closer still to my heart, my own family's gone back to Missouri to kick off the school year while I stay for awhile in Durango. Yes, the summer of 2009 is in the bag.

And I'd be lying if I didn't admit that there's a certain loneliness about it all. There's a vague feeling of uncertainty and ambiguity that I've found to always accompany moments like these.

But several years ago I stumbled upon a time-honored way to make lonely times into perhaps the most productive times in my life.
For me, being alone puts me in position to seek God for real, to ponder the biggest and hardest questions that nag my consciousness and to process mentally, physically and spiritually what I believe God is revealing to me about his story and my part in it.
I wrote about one such time in this post. On that week-long 40+ mile solo hike into perhaps the most pristine, wild and remote mountains left in the lower 48 - I recognized what I believe to be God's plan for the world, and my little part in it, with a clarity that I've not experienced before nor since.

That journey changed my life in ways that are still bearing fruit today. And I'm excited tonight because my current lonely time has provided the opportunity for another such journey.

In a week or so I'll once again be solo-backpacking, this time through the largest single chunk of wilderness left in Colorado. I will be utterly alone smack in the middle of pristine Creation.

I'm looking so forward to being alone with God and to being immersed in what I believe he is revealing to me. Ultimately, I look forward to being changed.

Even in the alone-ness of the last few days I've experienced a fresh dose of that in my elongated times of prayer - deep and long times of contemplation and meditation that just never happen in my frenzied normal-life.

I guess I'm encouraging you to find a way to make this kind of thing happen in your life. And so I'll be writing more about the whys and hows of this kind of journey in the future.

My brother Dean has significant insight into deep times of prayer as well. He's spent the last several years pursuing a daily prayer life that has revolutionized his entire outlook. Check out his blog at Maybe we can get him to write some fresh stuff on this from his very unique perspective.

And in the meantime, why don't you consider how you might make a way to be utterly alone with God?

Father, thank you for meeting us in the alone-times - for meeting us so powerfully as to change the trajectory of our lives. Help us to understand, to embrace and to ultimately seek out times where we can be alone with you and with the revelation of your kingdom to come.

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