>Yet the news about him spread all the more, so that crowds of people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses. But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. Luke 5:15-16

Loneliness is almost a phobia these days. It’s not so much being alone. We do lots of things alone. We just don’t want to feel lonely.

In my single days, I often had dinner with Tom Brokaw. I would sit in my recliner with my TV tray right in front of the television and watch the news as I ate. I was alone, but I wasn’t lonely. There was a conversation going on, albeit, one-sided.

There is no end to things that can occupy us. Satellite radio, HD radio and regular radio are sources of constant conversation. Do radio stations play songs anymore? If we don’t get enough talk on the radio, then there’s even more talk on TV. We can just channel surf until we find someone who agrees with us. They talk so much that we don’t even need to think for ourselves. We certainly don’t need to feel lonely.

If we need a little human interaction, then there’s Facebook and Twitter. (Is MySpace even around anymore?) Someone always seems to be online.

We know that our avoidance of boredom and loneliness has reached a peak, when we begin to consider curling as our new Winter hobby or crave cakes decorate with fondant (Is that even edible? Good old butter cream frosting over here, please.) Now, I have you so distracted that loneliness is now a distant thought.

Jesus embraced loneliness. Jesus sought out loneliness. He was not energized by the crowd. He wasn’t tantalized by the miracles. He didn’t relish in the sound of His own voice. Jesus’ strength came from loneliness and prayer.

Some people dream of being alone. But, there are people everywhere: co-workers, neighbors, kids, coaches, small groups, ministries – people, people, people. It seems nearly impossible to be alone.

But, there is a strength that we derive from aloneness with God that we cannot gain anywhere else. There is a part of us that is meant to be disconnected from a screen and interfaced with our Creator.

I would encourage you to take the next commercial break or download time to step away from the screen. Go outside on your patio. Look up at the stars. Sit down for five minutes and be quiet. God has things that He wants to say to you, but He can’t until you are alone.

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