The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest" (Mark 6:30-31 NIV).
Let me ask you to read those two verses again before reading any farther. In fact, you have my permission to read those verses and disregard the rest of this article. Pay special attention to the last sentence. Read it out loud.
Apparently, you chose to continue reading. Since you did, let me ask: Did you see the invitation from the Son of God? "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
Would getting away by yourself with Jesus appeal to you? Would you accept the invitation if you didn't have so much to get done today? Here's how Eugene Peterson writes it:
Jesus said, "Come off by yourselves; let's take a break and get a little rest." For there was constant coming and going. They didn't even have time to eat. (Mark 6:31 MSG).
"There was constant coming and going." Sound like your family? Get up early. Get ready for work. Get the kids ready for school. Kiss your husband good-by as he rushes out the door. Get the kids to school. Rush to work. Work hard all day. Call your husband and ask him to pick up the kids so you can go to the gym. Rush through your workout. Pick up dinner on the way home. Feed the kids. Help them with homework. Get them to bed. Plop down on the sofa with your husband while half watching the late news. You both share some of what you did during the day. You kiss each other good night. Just before you drift off to sleep you pray, "Lord, I'm so tired. Please let me get a good night's sleep." The next thing you hear is the alarm reminding you that it's time to start it all over again.
Maybe your situation is different. You wake up in the morning to a quiet house. There is no one there but you. You are alone. You are almost always alone. Alone. But busy. You have things to do. You have bills to pay. You have phone calls to make. You have several errands to run. You have a boss to please. You find yourself rushed and weary and worn-out at the end of every day. As you lay down you pray, "Lord, thank you for helping me get through the day and to accomplish everything on my list." Then, you ask yourself, "Did I eat dinner?"
It's just the two of you. But, you are considering expanding your family. So, you're both working hard to get ahead and stay ahead, and build the nest egg. In the process of making it all happen you find that you are feeling pressure to do more and spending fewer and fewer evenings at home together. When you put your head on your pillow you pray a silent prayer, "Lord, protect our marriage. Please don't let us drift apart."
Take a deep breath and read those words again. "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
Take another deep breath. Read those words again. "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
Take another deep breath.
Don't allow guilt to spoil the moment. Sure you are busy. We all are. Maybe you are too busy to eat, or to rest, or to be quiet, or to spend much time alone with the Lord. That's why Jesus said what He did to His disciples, and to us. He knew we are prone to get overcommitted and stressed-out.
Take another deep breath and read those words again: "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
Feel that? That's what it feels like to take just a moment to answer the call to be alone with the Lord, just for a moment.
There's a good chance that you have other things to do, so take another deep breath and take these words with you as you go through your day: "Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest."
May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with you as you go through your day with Jesus.