How often do we "go aside privately?" I'm not referring to a short devotional time during the day. Quiet times are important, but that's not truly solitude. When was the last time you took a few days -- just by yourself, or maybe with a small group of close friends -- and "went aside" to rest, rejuvenate, replenish yourself spiritually?
Jesus did this often in His earthly ministry. Why is it that so few of His followers do the same -- particularly those "in ministry"? Could it be that we've become so caught up in the world that we don't know the difference between solitude and the status quo? Have the thistles and thorns entangled us to such an extent that we can't find a few days to get away, to pray, the sit silently in God's presence and let Him speak?
No Christian is perfect. I am convinced, however, that if we would do this one simple thing -- cultivate solitude -- we would benefit immensely in our own lives, and in His kingdom work. I think a good goal for most disciples today is to follow the Master's lead, and "go aside privately" for some simple, spiritual rest. The world will be here when we get back.