Hang Out Or Go Solo?

"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.

Some of us are born with the tendency to be a recluse, where we prefer to be by ourselves and we don't need much socializing to survive. But most people would rather be in the company of others, even to the point of necessity. Whichever category we belong, we can all benefit from both hanging out with others and also from being all alone.

Here's a confession. I am an introvert. But the Lord led me into a life where I need to be with people much. But all these responsibilities and people encounters didn't really change me in my core. After these many years, I'm still an introvert, preferring more time all by myself and alone with my thoughts and dreams than socializing. But I can observe a sense of enjoyment creeping into my system when in the company of a few select people. I'm beginning to feel the need to hang out.

Our preferred company is usually that person who is frequently in agreement with our ideas and plans. Of course a wise person must seek the company of someone who plays the devil's advocate but this person's opinions are more practical than social. We may need that person's company but not really enjoy it that much. Even if you are the type who seeks the company of people often, I'm sure you are also selective of the company you want to be in despite of it. It's understandable because our social need doesn't have to intersect with our practical need for advice, tips or counsel. We simply need someone nearby to share our thoughts and to enjoy the moment.

In today's passage we are told of Jesus frequent habit of walking away to find time alone for Himself and escape the crowd which always tend to follow Him wherever He went. However, His alone time wasn't really that. It was alone time but with the Lord. He was still seeking the company of someone. Someone He shared many things with. Someone with whom He agreed a hundred percent. Someone whose ideas and opinions He also shared for they are essentially alike. His alone time was spent conversing with the Heavenly Father in prayer.

Regardless of our introvert or extrovert personality, we need this kind of company. The Lord's company isn't like that of the usual friend. If ever He makes a demand of us, He does so in a still small voice. So small that for those who are used to a loud environment, this small voice may sometimes remain unheard. But when we develop the habit of finding Him and seeking Him on a regular basis, one good thing happens - we become a God-extrovert.

He won't always agree with us but He never forces us. We can always choose the role that He plays in our life. We can be the talker and He the listener until we are ready ourselves to listen to Him talk. His advice and counsel can sometimes appear daunting and intimidating but with it He also offers a supply of courage and strength. As we hang out with Him more this way, we begin to think almost like Him, want things He wants and feels responsible for things He is concerned about. We also begin to feel His love for us and we find ourselves falling in love with Him. Then the more we desire to frequently go solo but not totally. For in that moment, we actually seek His company instead.

(Photo credit: Jennifer Parris at flexjobs.com)