He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” Mark 6:31
Our day started like many others: late night at work followed by a hectic morning that started too early. Putting the then baby into the double stroller to try to appease her “funk,” we headed out for a “walk adventure.” The then-almost-5-year old and then almost-3-year old were happy for the change of scenery (although I suspect anything would be better than listening to the 15-month old cry for hours on end). The highlight of our walk was watching a bobcat filling a hole and a dump truck dumping a load of gravel. After stopping at the park, we headed home to do some lawn work.
We work and save so we can own our own little plot of land and we try to make sure the grass is nicely green. Then we pull out the grass that grows in places where we don’t want it. Neighbors might comment if the grass gets too long. The dreaded, “What will they think?” if we don’t keep up with pulling the weeds and cutting the grass and trimming the bushes – the list is endless.
As I was cleaning out the “weeds,” I discovered some pink snap dragons growing around the light post. They were annuals I had planted the previous summer! The first thought I had was, “Good thing I hadn’t kept up with pulling weeds! “ What a pretty surprise! I’ll remember that the next time I’m embarrassed by the weeds in the yard and realize spending time in prayer and devotion with our Lord and just BEING with the children and my husband is time MUCH better spent.
When the disciples came to Jesus in Mark chapter 6 and told Him all the things they had been doing, He didn’t tell them to keep up the hard work with no rest. On the contrary, He told them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” (Mark 6:31) As a wife, mother, Moms’ group leader, and in general, woman of many hats (as, I imagine, many of us are), even THINKING about coming away and resting seems contradictory to being productive and following God’s will. However, just the opposite is true. When I force myself to focus on the Father first, pray over my to-do lists, and prayerfully follow Him all the day long, I find those are the most “productive” (and sometimes the most relaxed as well – how’s that for contradictory?!?) days of all.
Here’s to a new year of time to “Come away by yourselves and rest a while” in the Lord!
Thank you, Lord, for this New Year and all the new possibilities and opportunities to grow closer to You. Please show us Your will for each and every one of us today. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.