At the center of the dimly lit Church basement a group of flimsy folding chairs were arranged in a circle. Each one was filled with someone who appeared to be happy to be there. It wasn’t so much the space that made these individuals happy, but the fact that they were anywhere with other people. I was new. It was my first time attending this group.
I was called upon and quickly stood, looked each and every one of the others in the eye and then said, “Hi, I’m Chris and I’m an Extrovert.” Instantly everyone sprang up to meet me, no longer restricted by the social convention of circled chairs. I felt totally at home with a group of strangers. The small talk was exceptional
Okay okay, Extroverts Anonymous doesn’t exist. I googled it and could only find a covid pandemic short film and a twitter account. But if there was an Extroverts Anonymous, you could imagine that the meetings would never really start or end because everyone was too busy chatting.
In the gospel this Sunday Jesus heals a deaf and mute man with a speech impediment. However this healing story is different than many of the other healing stories in the gospel. Typically Jesus heals in public. This Sunday we hear, “He (Jesus) took him off by himself away from the crowd.” Why?
I think it shows that Jesus knows exactly the kind of healing and ministry each of us needs. While many would be fine to be healed in front of everyone, clearly Jesus perfectly adjusted his ministry to the needs of the man.
Whether you consider yourself an introvert or an extrovert, whether you get your energy from being alone or being with other people, all of us benefit from going off alone with Jesus. Even when it is exhausting to be alone, the spiritual benefit of one on one time with Jesus outweighs any other cost. There is a reason God kept choosing shepherds to lead his people. Being alone with just the Lord and wide open spaces changes us and grows an intimate relationship with our Lord.
Get some alone time with Jesus this week. Whether it is 20 minutes all at once or it is 5 minutes every day for this week. Find some time to step away and be alone with Jesus. (Even if you’re an extrovert)