Immediately he made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side, while he dismissed the crowds. And after he had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone. --Matthew 14:22-23For me, one of the great joys in living alone is the peace and quiet I can experience in the morning when I rise, at the end of the workday when I come home, or on weekends. I don't need the house to be quiet all the time, but I treasure its peacefulness. It feels like a place of retreat. My work life is so busy. I am with people all day long, talking in person or on the phone. I travel a lot and am surrounded by crowds of people who need my attention of services. Like Jesus, I need a break from all the activity, from all the demands of those around me. I love coming home to peace and quiet, to an environment in which the noise I hear is within my own control. I can make phone calls if I want, or I can turn on the answering machine and ignore the phone. The stereo plays whatever I wish at my command. The television is on if I want it to be, and otherwise it is silent. And I can go to my prayer corner and sit quietly with God when it suits me. I struggle hard to follow Jesus in so many ways, but this is not one of them. Like Jesus, I enjoy going off to be alone--for prayer or just refreshment of my body and soul. It is only by being alone some of the time that I am happy being with others the rest of the time.
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