This post is for all the not-so-lonely people. You know, the ones who actually enjoy being alone, coffee in one hand and a book in the other.
We introverts love people. Most of the time, we even like people!
Sometimes we enjoy being in a crowd with lots of energy and talkative peeps, but it always drains us.
For the record, Jesus often withdrew to a solitary place. For heaven’s sake, He spent forty days and nights in the wilderness fasting and survived just fine.
So I think Jesus was an introvert. He absolutely loved people and had compassion for the crowds, but He needed some time alone to reenergize His soul.
Perhaps I should pause and explain what I mean by the term introvert.
An introvert versus an extrovert is determined by one major thing: What fuels you?
Do you get refueled and refreshed in solitude or in a crowd?
Do you leave a party, a meeting, or a church gathering revitalized or in need of a serious nap?
An introvert can be shy, quiet, and reserved, but that’s not always the case. My working definition is more about how you reset your soul rather than about your personality.
I am comfortable with a lot of people. I don’t avoid crowds. I am not timid. And no one has ever accused me of being quiet!
Occasionally, I might be seen as the life of the party or the guy who enjoys being the center of attention.
However, by nature, I seek out solitude, enjoy being alone, and I’m more reflective than you might imagine. It’s why I love to read and write. I’ve said it many times. Writing is therapeutic for me because it gives my ADHD brain time to pause and think. (I bet you wish more ADD/ADHD types were introverts, huh?)
So, what’s the point?
Simply put, do you know what refreshes, refuels, and restores you?
And if you happen to be a leader or a pastor (or the mom of a tribe) who needs downtime, are you carving it out?
Jesus was purposeful and deliberate about making time to be alone and with the Father.
Are you intentional about rest and recovery?
Here’s what I’ve discovered: If you don’t plan a time of rest and make it happen, it rarely happens.
And here’s another little secret, I make appointments with myself!
And I do so for two reasons: a) I tend to do what I schedule, and b) when someone says I have to see you at such and such a day/time, I can honestly say, “Sorry, I already have a scheduled appointment then.”
Socrates is correct: Know thyself.
Bubna is correct: Schedule thyself.
In case you’re wondering, self-care is not being selfish when it’s done for the right reason.
I am a better me when I’m not with you all the time, and I am better at loving and caring for you when I am a better me.
And guess what? This approach to life and ministry worked for Jesus, so I know it will work for my fellow introverts.
Go ahead, I’ll wait. Get your calendar out and make some appointments with yourself now.
Your survival depends on it.
It was very early in the morning and still dark.
Jesus got up and left the house.
He went to a place where he could be alone.
There he prayed.
Mark 1:35 (NIRV)