Are you living a life of focused intention or a life of distraction? We live in a world full of distractions. Is your life less busy and distracting or busier and more distracting than it was a year ago, or five years ago? Take your bearings. Is your life moving in the right direction?
For two thousand years, the world has become increasingly noisy, busy, distracting, but Jesus’ invitation is unchanged: Come to the quiet.
Today’s difficult teaching is…
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” It is from Mark’s Gospel, chapter 6, verse 31.
There are many times when Jesus went away to a quiet place to pray, and times when he invited the disciples to come to a quiet place. But this is different. Jesus invites the disciples to come away to a quiet place just to rest.
There is so much in this single verse. The first thing that strikes me as we move beyond the surface of the words themselves is the practical care and concern Jesus had for his disciples. He was the one doing all the heavy lifting, but his concern was for them. And now his concern is for you.
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”
This single verse contains five directives. Let’s take a look at each of them and explore why we find them difficult.
The first directive is “Come.” Jesus is calling us away from whatever it is we are busy with. It can be hard to step away from whatever it is we are doing. This is especially true when we are stepping away from doing something we consider productive to simply be.
The second directive is “with me.” The presence of Jesus is transformative. His mere presence is an examination of conscience. His presence is a force so great that we are compelled to assess our lives. His presence shines light on all the ways we are not aligned with Him. This can be uncomfortable until we realize that he wants to renew, restore, and refresh us.
The third directive is “by yourselves.” Stepping away from the crowd is essential to communing with God. The irony is we fear we may miss out on something while we are communing with the Creator of the universe. That fear of missing out often leads us to miss out on everything that matters most.
The fourth directive is “to a quiet place.” We are so unaccustomed to the quiet that it makes us uneasy at first. Our restless souls are unaccustomed to settling into the quiet and simply being. But the journey is long and difficult, and Jesus knows that without respite our ability to live and love fully will be diminished.
The fifth and final directive in this verse is “and get some rest.” Jesus invites us to this sacred quiet because it refreshes the soul, and from this quiet emerges the clarity necessary to continue the journey. Without rest as disciples, we lose our joy, and then our service to others languishes as we become irritable and resentful.
When was the last time you felt calm, peaceful, tranquil, and at ease? But more importantly, how long are you going to put off the next time?
“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” It’s a difficult teaching to live, but a beautiful teaching that reveals all God’s care and concern for you. Will you let Him care for you in all the ways He desires to?
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