“The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.” (Mark 6:30 – 34)
Today is one of the days I wish I could pick out myself what scripture passage to write on. I looked over the possible passages, and unfortunately the passages that most closely suit my mood are the alternate Old Testament and Psalms passage. But I want to be true to following the story of David, so I set aside that pairing and am trying to see if the Mark passage/Gospel Passage offers some scope for commenting.
I would love Jesus to say to me, “Come away to a deserted by yourself and rest a while” because I have been busy and stressed with many things and have had no leisure to even eat. And maybe Jesus is tell me that by drawing me to my keyboard and sparking some thoughts with this passage.
And I have to remind myself that I cannot “go” continually but must lay aside my burdens and allow myself rest. Jesus quite often withdrew himself and spent time in pray and meditation. And perhaps, or more than just perhaps, I need to withdraw and come to the Lord in prayer pouring out what lies heavy within me.
“When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.” (Mark 6:53-56)
Taking time away for prayer and meditation is also a form of renewal and recommitment. The renewal part is easy to understand. Taking time away to rest and rejuvenate is an important aspect of renewal. And after we have re-newed ourselves – rested, refreshed, nourished ourselves and tended to the “wounds” of life – we are more ready to recommitment ourselves to the journey that the Divine calls us to.
Consider, beloved reader, that Jesus was both human and Divine. With his Divine aspect he was able to complete his ministry to the fullest. And being human, he knew he needed to refresh himself. I can not expect that I can keep going day after day with no rest and refreshment in the Lord. If Jesus needed to take time away, encouraging his disciples to take time away, how much more do we need time away. And so I will do so beloved, and I hope & pray you will do so also. Selah!