When we think of self care, normally, our minds travel to hot bubble baths, day trips to the nail salon for a pedicure, and maybe a little exercise. And while I am totally in support of all of these wonderful methods of self care, I think an equally, if not more important method that is often overlooked is solitude. We easily busy ourselves with things that we enjoy doing. And the truth is, there’s nothing wrong with that! But it is in sweet, sweet solitude that we are rejuvenated for the work that we will busy ourselves with.
Jesus, too, understood the importance of solitude as self care. In Mark 6:30-32, it says,
“The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place.”
After doing so much for the Kingdom of God, Jesus calls them into a place and a period of solitude and rest. They had been doing so much work that they had neglected to even feed themselves! And for many of us, this narrative is much like our own. We have been so busy with working our jobs, serving at church, going to school, and being good friends, that we miss the opportunity found in intentional solitude. Here, Jesus calls His disciples to leave everyone and go by themselves. This requires intentionality! If you are going to experience the restful rejuvenation of solitude then you must be intentional about carving out time to enter into that rest alone.
The great benefit of solitude is not only that you are rejuvenated, but that you are also readied for the work that awaits your return. See, after Jesus and the disciples returned from their rest, the Bible goes on to tell us that the people were waiting for them at the shore. Meaning, there will always be work to do! And this is precisely why Jesus encouraged them to rest - because there is always much to do for the Kingdom of God! Indeed, after resting a while in solitude, they participate in Jesus’ miracle of feeding the 5,000!
So, while you are busying yourself with the cares of the Kingdom and the cares of your own personal world, be sure to carve out some time for intentional solitude. Because, it is in that place of intentional solitude that you will experience the sweetest care of your soul so that you may be ready to experience Jesus in a brand new way!
Peace and Blessings!
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