Forced Solitude

Jesus went up on the mountain to pray
-somewhere in the New Testament (many locations)

I’ve heard enough of Jesus going up on the mountain to pray. I get it. It’s a good idea. Get some solitude, chill with God the Father, and get away from the hubub of all them people following him around asking him for stuff. It’s a common message among any church or fellowship group… anywhere.

But why did Jesus go up on the mountain? What I mean is, why didn’t he just… go in the basement somewhere, hide in a closet, etc? You mean to tell me he couldn’t just walk outside of town and climb a tree or find a cave or something?

As I found myself struggling to isolate myself today, I realized that it isn’t as easy as it seems. Yes, shutting off my phone was difficult and I definitely reopened my facebook several times. But aside from that, when I finally got away from everything, I landed on my knees and tried to pray. And it was hard. It was hard to focus and really connect with Jesus. Like some kind of mental fog-barrier that prevented me from even finding the words to speak.

So that led me to wonder, why did Jesus climb a mountain when he could have just hidden in a field? Did the act of ascending an incline help the process? Did the physical exertion of pulling himself up clear his mind and free it for communion? Maybe the journey itself did in fact matter.

I did manage to have a pretty cool prayer time today. But I do wonder if it would have been different had I spent 30 minutes in solitude just climbing a hill before praying. I suspect that it would have been a whole different experience entirely.

I hope to test out this theory sometime this week. If I do, I’ll be sure to note it here.