More adults than would ever admit it, sneak in little games of Solitaire on their computers or hand-held devices. At times I’ve come upon people ‘playing the cards’ on their computers; they usually back away from the screen, saying something like they were just taking a break from work.

            When I was a kid, for some reason we called the game ‘solitary’ – probably because you had to play it in a solitary way. But the word solitary now has sad connotations of loneliness or isolation. Men and women are put in solitary (confinement) as a punishment, often with grave consequences.

            There is another word that comes to mind, however. And that is solitude. Solitude is a spiritual term that focuses on the inner spirit and its vitality. Being alone may be a situation in which we find ourselves. Being in solitude is what we make of that condition.

            Sadly, it seems people fear being alone. Maybe that is why they quickly plan solitaire when they have time on their hands. Instead, wouldn’t it be nice if we could relax, step back, and become reflective on what is going on and how God is using each moment to touch our lives. That is solitude.

‘And Mary kept all these things, reflecting on them in her heart.’

Luke 2:19