Tag Archives: Solitude

Solitude Loving Extravert

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Morning quiet at the lake (Photo credit: Tom Vander Well)

At daybreak, Jesus went out to a solitary place.
Luke 4:42 (NIV)

When our daughters were in high school our family took the Myers-Briggs personality inventory together. We then spent a few hours with my friend, who is a marriage and family therapist, talking about the results. It was fascinating, not only to see each others results (I’m an ENFP), but also to understand our perceptions of one another. I remember that Madison was shocked to discover that I was an extrovert, and I was shocked that she would think I was an introvert.

“But every morning,” she explained, “you get up and spend time alone in quiet.” Based on that daily observation, she assumed that I was introverted. I’ve learned that extraversion and introversion are really about personal energy rather than being particularly social or shy. As an extrovert, I get energized by being around people and social situations. In fact, just the other week I shared with Wendy that being alone together at the lake for days on end had my personal energy tank on reserve. Spending a few hours at the pool around a crowd of people helped fill me up.

The truth is, my time of solitude each morning is not about recharging my personal batteries (in fact, it often causes me to miss out on much needed sleep) as much as it’s about keeping myself centered and finding balance. My entire day feels off-kilter when I miss my time of quiet to read, think, write, and have conversations of spirit with God. Sleeping in, for me, has always been accompanied with the grief of missing my time of solitude.

This morning’s chapter reminds me that Jesus liked his morning solitude, too. This morning, as I type this post in the early morning quiet of my hotel room, I am taking selfish pleasure in this trivial connection; Jesus and I have a mutual appreciation and understanding of morning solitude.

Chapter-a-Day Psalm 11

But the Lord is in his holy Temple;
    the Lord still rules from heaven.
He watches everyone closely,
    examining every person on earth.
Psalm 11:4 (NLT) 

It is early. I’d planned on taking this week off of my chapter-a-day posts, but this morning I woke before dawn and, after laying awake for a while, felt called to the quiet. Rarely these days am I around so much noise and activity. The Playhouse has been full of life and kinetic energy this week with five very busy young people and six weary adults trying desperately to keep up. So much fun. So much noise. So much laughter and screaming. So many tears. The surround sound of life abundant.

I’ve always found quiet in the mornings, even at home in our empty nest where things are pretty much quiet all day. “The Lord is in His holy Temple” today’s chapter tells us, and how interesting to have God’s Message remind those who follow Jesus that we ourselves are temples of God’s Spirit, who dwells in us (1 Corinthians 3:16). And so, as light slowly rises in the east I come to the quiet to center in, to seek the Lord in His holy Temple where He can be found, and to find peace at the start of my day. I come to the quiet even on days that will be filled with relative quiet, but I find this time with God especially rich on days that I know will be brimming over with life’s joyful noises.

I thought I would take the week off from my chapter-a-day posts, and yet here I am once again. I come back to the quiet. I rest on the page.