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Wednesday, April 17, 2019

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Jesus tells us to come away to a deserted place by ourselves and rest

Jesus tells us to come away to a deserted place by ourselves and rest

In the Gospel of Mark, the apostles had just come from a mission trip. Jesus is concerned about them because so many people were coming and going that the apostles had no leisure – not even time to eat. So Jesus tells them: “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” Notice that in this short sentence there are four important elements.

First, Jesus tells them to come to a deserted place. The place where he will bring them will not be filled with things to do. There will be no distractions to occupy their minds and hearts.

Secondly, they are to go to this place by themselves. They are not to invite those who need their ministry to come along.

Thirdly, they are to rest in that place. They are not to be busy with ministering to others or with any physical activity so they could benefit from the peace that comes from being away.

Fourthly, they have just come back from a mission trip and they need time to process and reflect on what they experienced and what that means for their lives.

These four elements still apply to us today. In the first place, we have to find a deserted place in our lives. For some this may mean going to Lumen Christi on a retreat or spending time in a chapel.

I have a friend who brought a house down the bayou to get away from his busy life in the city. He comes here to read, meditative and reflect on what’s happening in his life.

For most, finding a deserted place may mean going into a room in your house where you can spend some time completely alone.

The second element that Jesus mentions is that we are to go to this place by ourselves. We are not to take with us those that need us. This is where it can start to get rather complicated, especially for parents of young children.

How can you get away for a few minutes every day, or every other day, to refresh yourselves in the presence of God?

This is where your creativity has to kick in. First, you have to want to do this. Then you have to want to do this so badly that you will make the necessary arrangements so that it can happen for you. If there is another adult in the house, you could possibly arrange things so that he or she could look after the kids for twenty minutes so you can have this time to yourself. Do whatever you have to do so that you can have this necessary time to yourself.

The third element is to rest awhile in God’s presence. This means that when we do arrange to get away for a few minutes, we do not fill that time with many words or frantic searching of the Scriptures. Put yourself in the presence of God and listen. The Lord is our shepherd. He will restore our worn-out spirits.

The fourth element is so important. Unless we process what is happening in our lives, then our lives can fall apart. We can fall apart without realizing what is happening to us. We can become lost souls. Who wants to be lost?

If we listen, a voice within us will tell us we are loved and that we have meaning and purpose in life. Give yourself the greatest gift you can give.

The Greek Philosopher Socrates once said, “The unexamined life is not worth living.”

Take time to get away daily and reflect on what is going on in your life. Be convinced that God wants to give you the gift of his peace. Your life is worth living.