There are times in most lives when the still small voice is heard saying; "Come ye apart into a desert place and rest awhile"—when there is no possibility of resisting the call and the soul has to go forth shrinking and trembling without its accustomed supports to learn lessons which it could never learn otherwise.
"In Solitude the Great Master gathered strength to do His Father's Will, and those who have followed humbly in His sacred footsteps have always had to do likewise. Alone and in silence waits the seed in its cold damp bed, until the Spring sunshine calls into being its wealth of beauty now so carefully veiled from the naked eye. Who knows what beautiful flowers and fruits are to grow by the same great Law out of the thoughts cherished in a dismal and dreary environment? Yet, although it is well known that in Solitude the highest and best in man's nature comes to perfection, this affords no comfort to ordinary souls devoid of the divine afflatus. To them is denied that freedom from self-consciousness which makes the solitude of the genius a paradise. To them the state is full of temptations and snares which they are obliged to fight single-handed and without relief of distraction from outside. Driven into their own hearts they are appalled to find them full of evil they never suspected and despair of being able to conquer.
To such there is but one way out of their misery by which they can attain to a useful and honorable life. Their timid souls must anchor themselves to the Divine Strength before, purified, calmed, and fortified, they can stand alone and, so standing, help others.
How vast is the contrast between a light in a cottage window and the glow which rises over a well-lighted town or district! Yet to the traveler on a dark, stormy night the solitary light in its dim humility may be far more useful than the powerful but distant light of combined effort.
Be faithful then, solitary soul, if you cannot all at once be fearless! Guard well your union with the unseen, and, when that is at last firm and secure, from you, tired, tossed, and heart-sick as you have been, shall shine reflected a measure of that sacred Light that lighteth all who come into the world.
The night and the storm look as if they would last forever, but the calm and the morning cannot be stopped.