I have always been a thinker. I believe that true thinking cannot be accomplished with other people around you. Even Jesus withdrew from the crowds to be alone.
In recent months I spent an extended time period recovering from surgery. Although there were nurses and doctors who needed to interrupt me from time to time, there were hours and hours I spent in bed. Although the healing process requires that you sleep for longer periods than when you are well, I still had time when I just lay there awake.
I had time to reflect on the choices I had made in my life. Those choices had directed my path and in large part had made me the person that I had now become.
We are always becoming. It is a process that continues until the day we meet our Maker. But how we become and what we become is something we choose.
Being alone with our thoughts is one way to avoid making bad choices. When we are at peace, we can think clearly and wisely. We can make plans and we can pray about those plans. We can redirect our path simply by thinking.
I sometimes wonder how our very busy President has time to think clearly about the decisions he makes. He has a tight schedule and people surround him wherever he goes. Is he ever alone?
The time I spent in the hospital and in the rehabilitation center was a welcome respite from my usual busy life. Even after I returned home, I had to set aside time to lie down and rest and to put ice packs on the affected area.
Those times became times of prayer. I found myself naming everyone in my family, extended family, neighbors, old friends I hadn't seen in years, and praying for their health and happiness and blessing. All their faces came to my mind when I was resting and quietly thinking.
Wouldn't it be wonderful if everyone took time everyday to pray for everyone he knows or knew in his life? Just think how many blessings all of us would receive!
The great poet of the Victorian era, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, once said, "More things are wrought by prayer than this world dreams of."
If we don't retreat from the world and take time to be alone, how will we ever pray with reverence and with a full heart, a quiet mind, and a willingness to listen to the still small voice within?
If you are reading this, I hope that today you will treat yourself to a special quiet time to be alone with your thoughts.