“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.” Mark 1:35 (NIV)
There’s something special about getting up early and spending time alone with God in a place where no-one else is.
I wish I could do it more often, because when I do I feel more able to engage with God, to worship, praise and pray.
I don’t think the morning is any more spiritual than any other time, but being up and in communion with our creator God before most of the surrounding world is awake and starting to bustle certainly has its advantages.
Let’s face it: if Jesus did it then it’s certainly something we should consider doing too.
I love being able to retreat from the noise and hubbub of humanity at least once a day, yet in our increasingly 24/7 existence that can be difficult to achieve.
Even if people aren’t making noise, their creations are — cars, trains and planes rumble; radios, TVs and web sites chatter away; electrical installations hum and burble.
Having the opportunity to escape somewhere where human noises decrease and nature’s sounds increase is a wonderful privilege, and one I never tire of.
Even in the deepest urban jungle, it’s possible (albeit with some sacrifice) to find a time and place where a portion of the natural world can break through.
The hymn “How Great Thou Art” expresses the wonders of God’s creation and how it inspires us to worship.
The stars, the mighty thunder, the woods and forest glades, the singing birds, the mountains, the brooks and the gentle breeze… all these natural wonders causes the believer’s soul to sing.
Having recently moved to Wales, I’m so fortunate that I can find a quiet place in the hills within ten minutes’ walk of my home.
Where can you go to engage with God without the distractions of everyday life?
You might be fortunate enough to have a place in your own home where you can retreat to and not be disturbed. Perhaps your garden is a sanctuary. How about a local park, the beach, a hill or a river?
While we can remain in relationship with God throughout the day, and communicate with Him in so many different ways and even amid busyness, there’s something precious about dedicating a portion of time to retreating from the world and being alone with God.