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    Oh, how true, wonderful, free and refreshing to learn of others who also love the joy of solitude. Time in solitude is so FULL, so precious. I find that my best time is my time spent in solitude. This is where my main source comes; from here I discern the Still Voice of the Divine; from here I discern my own longings and my own inner struggles.

    When I settle for less than solitude, not only do I block out God, I block out myself, and in doing that I block out my ability to grow as a person. If ever I am to grow, I realise that I must face myself, and my own inner realities. I bring my entire being under the scrutiny of solitude, and gently allow the Spirit to bring to the surface of my conscious what needs to be brought forth.

    The next step is that the Bright Star of God shines upon me, and as I sunbathe beneath the beauty of this radiance, true healing comes. This is a process of allowing, of letting go of all pretense and all inner (and outer) noise and clutter. This for me is what true prayer is all about. It is rather like sunbathing, as Archbishop Rowan Williams has commented, and as the natural sun gradually changes our skin without our knowing it. I allow the process of being in the sunshine of God, and the process of solitude is, I believe, changing me, from the inside out.

    Only as I am changed inside, and become increasingly Christlike, will I be in a place able and fit to love and serve the world in which my Lord has placed me.

    For me, solitude is the pivotal method which will enable me to become the person Jesus wishes me to become. It is also the most beautiful, love-building experience I know of between my Lord and me and I would not wish to lose this for anything in the world!

    � 2006 Christine M. Jones

    Droplets from Life
    I would love to hear your responses, comments or input in any way. Please contact me at: christinesdroplets@yahoo.com.au

    Christine Jones is married to David. She has two adult children and precious grandchildren. She has worked for many years as a school teacher/librarian, and written children's material for several years in her 'spare time'. She loves nature, music and the theatre.

    John Mark Ministries