I enjoy going up into the mountains to get away from all the distractions that swirl around me every day. So you would have to expect that I am going to latch onto what I think may be my new favorite verse in the Bible.
After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray. Later that night, he was there alone …Matthew 14:23 NIV
Jesus dismissed all the people (distractions), and headed up into the hills for some quiet time. And he spent the night there alone. Sounds to me very much like a solo backpacking trip / retreat. Was Jesus a backpacker? Probably not in the sense we use the word today. But it is clear that he did go up into the mountains for solitude and prayer.
I frequently go out into the mountains near my home. Sometimes for days at a time. I find it easier to focus on God when there is no internet, no books, no weeds to pull, nothing on the calendar, and no other commitments or obligations. I am solitary by nature, so I enjoy being alone. Although I am never really alone. God’s presence is always with me. My most intimate times with God happen when I am alone with him up in the mountains in prayer.