In his excellent text The Spirit of the Disciplines (which I highly recommend), Dallas Willard writes this about the Christian discipline of solitude: “Solitude is generally the most fundamental at the beginning of the spiritual life, and it must be returned to again and again as that life develops. . . . Just try fasting, prayer, service, giving, or even celebration without the preparation accomplished in withdrawal, and you will soon be thrown into despair by your efforts, very likely abandoning your attempt altogether.”
Willard is definitely onto something here. When we attempt to live out the spiritual life without having those key times of quiet, of reflection, of just be-ing with God, we run out of gas pretty quickly.
For some those times are lengthy and rich. For others, those moments alone are quick, spur-of-the-moment, and frequently interrupted by tattle-tales or flying sippy cups. But whatever they look like—and even if they’re short—those times are essential.
What do you think? Do you agree with Willard? Why or why not?