The Life of a Hermit
In doing a recent web search for obscure holidays, I discovered that today is National Hermit Day. (Side note–who makes up these holidays and how do I get that job?)
Seeing this made me wonder what it really means to be a hermit. Because when I hear the word hermit, I think of an anti-social person hiding away in a dark, quiet house and not communicating with the outside world. Which sounds both sad and lonely, as well as intriguing and peaceful at the same time, depending on how chaotic my life is at any given moment.
According to merriam-webster.com, the definition of hermit is: one that retires from society and lives in solitude especially for religious reasons.
So, is being a hermit actually godly then? What does the Bible say about this topic?
Jesus had times in His life when He needed to escape from the pressures and demands of the outside world and be alone with the Father. For example, before His ministry began, He spent forty days in the wilderness–not to binge watch Netflix, mind you, but to spend time hearing from God and pouring His heart out in return. And in Luke 5:16, it says that Jesus frequently withdrew to pray by Himself. In fact, there are numerous examples throughout the Gospels where Jesus finds a lonely place to pray.
Also, the fourth commandment is to remember the Sabbath day and keep it holy. So one day every week, we are instructed to rest and draw close to God.
It seems there is plenty of biblical support for living the life of a hermit from time to time. But we were also made for community.
Matthew 18:20 says “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.” And in Hebrews 10:24-25a, it says, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on to good deeds, not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another.” Not to mention the beautiful picture of the very first Church in Acts 2:44&46 where it says “All the believers were together and had everything in common… Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.”
So moments of solitude–giving our hearts and minds rest from the stress of the world–are an important part of balance in the life of a believer. But so are moments of fellowship and community–building each other up, sharing insights from the Word, praying for one another. Like the song based on John 13:35 says, “And they’ll know we are Christians by our love.” Well, it’s hard to show God’s love if you have no contact with other humans. But it’s hard to know God’s love if you have no moments of solitude with the Creator Himself.
In my book Blast From Her Past, the heroine Sydney Hampson lives much of her life as a hermit, though not
for religious reasons. She lives alone, works from home, doesn’t attend church, and hardly ever goes out unless she’s forced to come into the office. In secluding herself, she’s forgotten the faith of her youth, but thankfully a new employee–a former classmate she’d graduated with fourteen years earlier–finds a way to bring her out of her shell. Their connection helps Sydney flourish in more ways than one.
Check out the fully story, available in kindle or paperback, at https://www.amazon.com/Blast-Her-Past-Katy-Eeten-ebook/dp/B0793MFT91/ref
Katy Eeten is the wife of a youth pastor and mother to two school-age boys. She works full time in the business world, but her true passion is writing. Contemporary Christian Romance Blast From Her Past was her first published novel, and her novella, Christmas in Meadow Creek, is due to release at the end of November. When she’s not working or writing, she can be found taking walks, baking goodies, dining out, playing the piano, or spending time with her family. Connect with her on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/KatyEeten/), Twitter (https://twitter.com/KatyEeten), and Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/KatyEeten/).