Pray, Go, Give Blog

Time Alone


What a concept in our crazy busy world...Time Alone? We all need it. Some avoid it. Others are purposeful about it. Many wish they could figure out how they could have it.  


The Benefits of Time Alone:

  • Re-creation, Inspiration, Peace, Direction


Some signs that you may need some purposeful Time Alone.

  • Feelings of frustration, lack of direction, discouragement, depression, sickness, broken relationships, burnout, purposelessness.


Time Alone is a Spiritual Discipline (solitude):

  • Jesus took it: “he went up on a mountainside to pray.”

  • Jesus invites us to: "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."

  • Speaking of Elisha: “And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him.”


Daily Time Alone Ideas:

  • Find a time in the day that works for you.

    • Find a private or special place in your home that you like.

  • Read, listen to music, exercise, take a walk, watch a sunset, pray


Schedule Time Alone:

  • Go hiking, fishing, hunting, golfing, to the spa, for a drive or ride on your bike. There are countless culturally acceptable hobbies and interests.

  • A day or weekend away - plan your time to some degree ... be purposeful.


Extended Time Alone:

  • Aboriginal Australians have the “Walkabout”

  • Modern sojourners go “Trekking” or on “Walking Tours”

    • I hitchhiked and rode freight trains when I was young

  • A purposeful approach can be a Short Term Missions trip serving others while processing things in your own heart, mind and spirit.

  • Some might find they need a longer period of time away.


Making Time Alone work with those you love:

  • If you are married you will need to talk and plan Time Alone. The loving thing to do is to recognize each others need and plan for each persons need to be met. That may mean rearranging your schedule in order to serve your spouse. Watch the kids, arrange for a sitter, plan something together. You may be saving your marriage. Mothers of young children will appreciate their husbands sensitivity to this need. 

  • Some alone times don’t have to be completely alone.

    • Enjoy a sunset, bike ride or take a drive with someone who can respect the moment.


Quotes about Time Alone:


We live in a very tense society.  We are pulled apart... and we all need to learn how to pull ourselves together.... I think that at least part of the answer lies in solitude.  ~Helen Hayes


The great omission in American life is solitude; not loneliness, for this is an alienation that thrives most in the midst of crowds, but that zone of time and space, free from the outside pressures, which is the incubator of the spirit.  ~Marya Mannes


No man should go through life without once experiencing healthy, even bored solitude in the wilderness, finding himself depending solely on himself and thereby learning his true and hidden strength.  ~Jack Kerouac


Additional Resources:

Movies that address this topic:

  • Into the Wild

  • City Slickers

I am sure there are many others.

How do you manage Time Alone? How does it work with those you love? Can you think of resources that might be helpful to others?

4 comments so far:

Mark Driscoll makes some great points here about why Jesus took time to be alone. Check out this link:
The point about Jesus taking time alone is between minutes 30 - 38.

Dallas Willard- "Spirit of the Disciplines" excellent older (late '80s) book which includes discussion on solitude among other topics tied into your comments.

Interesting thing about your comment on Jesus taking time alone and minutes 30-38 of Driscoll's message. That is actually how long it sometimes takes for me to clear out the daily thoughts/junk in order to step into intimate time with Jesus......

One secret of a good marriage relationship is the ability to be "alone" together. There is no comfort more precious than to know that a loved one is quietly near. It is the same feeling we get when we walk "in the garden" with Jesus "alone."

Nice thought Ginger. As we are approaching the "empty nest" I am looking forward to more time with Linnea alone together.


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