Tag Archives: solitude

Vacareşti – Solitude in the Crowds


I first learned about this hidden bit of wilderness right within the capitol of Romania over summer.  At that time, I was freshly-arrived from a rural town of 1,400 people to this city of 2 million, so I was more than interested in exploring something like the countryside.

Vacareşti, I soon learned, has a very interesting history, and one that still has a lot of mystery for me.

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Bible in the Park

To get a feel for Bucharest and the people here, I’ve taken to wandering the streets.  Today, I got an early start and headed out to Parcul Titan.  It’s a massive park in the middle of the city and gave me a great opportunity to spend some time in prayer and reading the Bible.  By American standards, Parcul Titan is dirty.  It’s not horribly dirty, but the idea of “Leave No Trace” doesn’t really ever seem to show up in Bucharest.  The park has a ton of cool toys for kids to play on, a massive lake, and a whole bunch of old guys in European style swimwear (click with caution).

But I went to Parcul Titan today not to people-watch or play on the fun toys but to spend some time with God.  Between all the travel, the hot weather, and living with my way-too-fun nieces, my last few times set aside with God haven’t been very, well, deep.  So I headed out today at 6:30 a.m. and hopped  on the subway heading to the park for some much-needed time simply loving Jesus.

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When I get overwhelmed… I escape

Everybody responds differently when they feel overwhelmed.  Some people grit their teeth and just keep plugging away, doing what they’ve always done and beating the hare like the tortoise.  Others freak out and do something crazy, sometimes even ending up with awesome results.  Others are like me.  They flee.

When I get overwhelmed, I need to get away.  I need to take a breather, get away with God, find his perspective on things, and then come back full of the faith and confidence that he will do what he promised.

So this week, I took a couple days to relax, hang out with some of the guys, and seek God in the woods.

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But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness

Luke 5:15-16 tells us of the success of Jesus’ ministry in Israel:  “The report of his power spread even faster, and vast crowds came to hear him preach and to be healed of their diseases.  But Jesus often withdrew to the wilderness for prayer.”

Here he is, in the midst of a crazy busy ministry schedule, surrounded by people who are sick and dying and desperately in need of some help.  And he’s the only one capable of meeting their needs.  There’s pressure.  There are deadlines.  There are needs and wants and…. in the midst of it all, Jesus leaves.  And he leaves often.

I have found myself in need of some wilderness time lately.  I’ve been stressed from preparations for Romania, tired of working in the schools, worn out from ministering to people… and I need desperately to get to the wilderness, alone with God.

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