Earlier this spring, in my series on discipleship, I mentioned that one of my favorite stories in the gospels is of Jesus feeding a crowd of 5,000 people with five loaves of bread and two fish (Mark 6). For those who are familiar with the story, the part that often gets overlooked is that the episode began with Jesus trying to get away with his disciples for a spiritual retreat.
They had just returned from a mission trip and were reporting to Him all they had done and taught, but as we read in the story, "so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat" (Mark 6:31).
Has life ever felt that way for you? You're busy with work, busy with family, busy in the community. You try to spend concentrated time with Jesus, but with all of the distractions around you, it's hard to focus.
I regularly feel that way.
I love how Jesus is insightful and intentional with His disciples in this moment. He knows they have been working hard and that they want to connect with Him, so he says to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
What a great invitation. I think we all need a bit more of what Jesus offers with this invitation.
"Come with me by yourselves"
How often do we try to tack Jesus on to all the other things that we are doing. Not that you have to drop everything all the time to be with Jesus. You don't. He's always present and at work. We need to wake up to that reality rather than feel the pressure of measuring our Christian walk by the frequency and consistency of our quiet time. However, there are seasons when we need to slow down, be intentional, and get alone with Jesus.
"to a quiet place"
Our world is noisier than ever before. There are so many things to distract us. There is so much coming and going from our smartphones and devices, so many tweets, texts, emails, updates, notifications, webinars, that it's hard to experience any quiet. We all could use a little more quiet and stillness in our lives.
"and get some rest."
Along with our noisy world is our fast-paced rhythm. My typical mode of operation is to rest from my work rather than work from a place of rest. If you’re anything like me, you run, run, run until you're out of gas and then you crash. However, I'm always struck by what I read in Genesis 1 & 2 when God created the world. God spent five days creating the sun, moon, stars, oceans, animals, mountains, beaches, and trees. On day six He created Adam and Eve. Then on day seven He rested. That means Adam and Eve's first day of existence was the Sabbath. They were given the responsibility to work and steward the garden, but not until after they rested. God puts a high priority on rest.
The reason I'm reflecting on all of this is because this summer I'm going to be pulling back from my blog a bit. Not entirely, but a little. I'm going to practice creating some space so I don’t neglect my relationship with God or time with my family. There are also a few other projects I'm working on that need some attention. I need to say no to certain things so that I can say yes to other things.
What you can expect this summer is a new blog post every other week. They'll be a bit shorter and more simple. They'll have a few questions to ponder, and I believe you'll still find them meaningful.
I trust this will help to create a long-term sustainable rhythm as I believe writing is and always will be a significant part of my overall ministry.
I hope that this might even encourage you to take some time to consider your rhythms and maybe respond to Jesus’ invitation to come away to a quiet place and get some rest.