Make Time for Solitude
“News about Jesus spread even more. Many people came to hear him and to be healed … but Jesus often slipped away to be alone so he could pray” (Lk. 5:15-16, NCV).
It is officially summer this week and that means we are ready to SEND campers to Grand Mesa Baptist Camp (and other camps around the area). In the church, ministry leaders seem to move into “overdrive” during the summer months. There are camps, Bible schools, retreats, and special events galore on the calendar. Yet, we can follow Jesus’s example to use our time wisely. He was always busy … and he still made time to be alone and pray.
Jesus got away from the crowds and activities of his day to hang out in the wilderness with his Father. By following his lead, we can reduce the stress in our own lives by listening to God’s voice as demonstrated throughout the Bible and his creation. Jesus literally had the weight of the world on his shoulders, and he still developed the habit of spending time alone with God. As the pressure of his ministry increased, he would often get away to reflect, to renew his spirit, and to recharge his soul.
Grand Mesa Baptist Camp, located on Baron Lake on Grand Mesa at 10,150-feet, has been a destination for children, youth, young adults, and families since 1917. After cancelling the camping program in 2020 due to Covid-19, we are looking forward to re-opening the camp this year. The Grand Mesa Christian Association that oversees the 28-acre camp site (see the map) leased from Grand Mesa National Forest, is a great location to spend some quality time with God.
Grand Mesa Baptist Camp is rustic, though campers sleep in cabins arranged for Boys and Girls. The showers have hot water and running water for sinks and toilets. The grounds include a huge chapel for worship and meditation along with recreational activities and boats to take out on Baron Lake. The Dining Hall is being remodeled with up-to-date ovens, refrigerators, dish washers and cabinets. The care-takers cabin is ready for use and includes the nurse’s station with sick rooms for anyone feeling under the weather.
With all of the distractions that have invaded our daily lives (smartphones, video games, social media, jobs, sports, etc.), a few days away from these in God’s creation and nature can help a person to hear the voice of God for the first time or by renewing their relationship with our Creator. There is a Baptist camp for everyone this month. You can see for yourself at grandmesabaptistcamp.org and enjoy time in his presence. [The other regional camps are: frontrangecamping.org and wyoba.org.]
If, you cannot pull yourself away for a few days to go up to Grand Mesa Camp, see what you can do to carve out some “solitude time” wherever you live. You can even do this on a budget! Spend time with God by opening your Bible. Turn off the outside world and listen for God’s voice through reading, studying, and meditating on the Word of God. Susanna Wesley, mother of nineteen children including John and Charles Wesley, had a difficult life with so many children to raise. Her husband also was imprisoned twice for fraud. She kept her prayer time with God daily under her apron in her rocking chair. Her children knew when the apron was over her head that it was mother’s time alone with God.
Let me close with one of Susanna Wesley’s prayers:
Help me, Lord, to remember that religion is not to be confined to the church, or closet, nor exercised only in prayer and meditation, but that everywhere I am in Your presence. So may my every word and action have moral content. May all the happenings of my life prove useful and beneficial to me. May all things instruct me and afford me an opportunity of exercising some virtue and daily learning and growing towards Your likeness. Amen.
Rev. James Conley
Western Slope Ministry and Missions Facilitator,
Pastor, First Baptist Church of Delta