John Ortberg is one of my all-time favorite authors. In his book The Life You’ve Always Wanted he takes Jesus’ call to abundant living seriously, joyfully and realistically. He believes human transformation is genuinely possible and he delivers a blueprint for making it happen in your life. It was this book that got me started in developing the spiritual disciplines of solitude and silence. These spiritual disciplines are not just for pastors and priests, but they are for ordinary people like you and me. They are, in fact, life-changing!
If you know me, I am generally a party going somewhere to happen. When I first thought of spending hours alone praying and reflecting on God’s Word, I didn’t think I could do it. I didn’t even want to do it, but I sensed God calling me to do it. I didn’t know any Protestants who practiced these disciplines so I went to Richmond Hill, a Catholic Monastery, and priests trained me in these disciplines. These personal three day retreats changed my life forever. You have heard of manic-depressive. I was just manic (bouncing of the walls) with more ideas and dreams than any one man could accomplish.
Solitude settled my life, my marriage, and my ministry down nicely. These times with the Lord brought a great sense of peace and joy into my life. Even raising teenagers became easier and more enjoyable. Give it a try. Just 30 minutes a day. After just a few weeks you and others should notice the difference. Try it. You will like it.