Awakened (part 3): Going Away

TO START:

When’s the last time you were truly alone, on purpose? Share with the group. What motivated that solitude?

TO DISCUSS:

How does the idea of practicing solitude make you feel? Is it appealing or does it make you uncomfortable? Why do you think that is?

How many minutes/hours each day do you spent completely alone? How do you use that time?

If solitude means, as many have suggested, being free from outside voices that would mean no tv, movies, internet, podcasts, music or books. Given that definition, how often are you practicing solitude?

What would get in the way of you practicing solitude? What could you do to overcome that hurdle?

What are the benefits of getting away to be quiet and alone?

Have you felt awakened to the presence of God while practicing solitude? Tell your group about it.

Jesus often practiced solitude in nature. Do you find yourself feeling closer to God in nature? Consider the following John Muir quotes. Do you relate?

  • “Between every two pines is a doorway to a new world.”

  • “In every walk in nature one receives far more than he seeks.”

Share a place where you’ve experienced God more fully.

TO PRAY:

Consider creating a few moments of solitude right there in your group meeting. If possible, make sure you can get a few minutes without interruptions from children. Then set a timer for 5 minutes, and have your group spend those 5 minutes with their eyes closed, not speaking, just sitting in the presence of God.

You might talk together for a moment afterward about what that quiet was like, and what benefits you might anticipate in pursuing more times like that in your relationship with God.

TO READ:

This week’s story finds the prophet Elijah sequestered in a cave during the reign of king Ahab, his life having been threatened by the queen because of his loyalty to God. Read 1 Kings 19:1-19.

  • How does Elijah react to discovering the enchanted world? What can we learn about how we should respond?

  • What does Elijah’s discovery of the enchanted world change about his outlook on his situation?

  • Focus on verses 11-13: How does Eljiah’s encounter with enchantment differ from his expectations? What can we learn from this?