Scripture: Ecclesiastes 3:1–8
Key Verse: “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.” (Ecclesiastes 3:1)
Alone. That one word can make you feel so many emotions—fear, sorrow, peace. How you feel probably has a lot to do with how your life is going at the moment. “Alone” might mean something positive to you, particularly if you’re an introvert. Whereas extroverts tend to draw energy from engaging with people, those with introverted tendencies draw energy from spending time alone. They feel more at peace with life and are ready to re-engage with the world, after alone time.
Recently, experts have begun to use a sliding scale to describe the spectrum between extreme introverts and extreme extroverts. Simply labeling someone introverted or extroverted is too limiting. Think about times when you needed to be alone and times when you needed to be around others. There are times when we need to take refuge in silence and solitude. But at others times, we hide away in loneliness, pushing the world away and avoiding pain or challenges. In all times, we can turn to God for guidance and listen for his direction. God can show you when “alone” is something that can help you or hurt you. There is a time for everything—even being alone.
Does the thought of spending time alone or spending time with others make you feel afraid or anxious? Why do you think God wants you to experience both solitude and companionship?
If you haven’t already tried this, consider taking an online quiz to find out your level of introverted and extroverted tendencies. Jot down a few thoughts or feelings you have about what you discover. Does the result frustrate you? Does it fit perfectly how you see yourself? Does it create problems in your life? Is this the first time you’ve even considered this part of who you are? Now write down two or three ways you’re going to push against your natural preferences. If you love being alone, list ways you will socialize. If being alone sounds like torture, list somethings new you’ve wanted to try that you can do by yourself—like yoga or drawing. (The solitude may be easier to handle if you’re excited and distracted by new challenges.)
Father God, I don’t know if I’m really interested in this new challenge. Is it the time and season for it? Pushing myself into an uncomfortable place sounds like more trouble than it’s worth. Please show me how to have courage. Give me a chance to learn something new about myself and what it means to have a healthy, full life. Maybe learning to be alone or meeting new people will help the next time my family gets PCS orders. Only you know what will happen. All I know is I need you with me through all times, helping me each step of the way. Amen.