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We are in the midst of the summer, a time when many people will get away. Many have taken or plan to take vacations. The trip may be for a day or longer. Some might be getting away as an individual or as part of their family or a group. After a long, work-intensive first half of the year, most of us are looking for opportunities to reset and recharge. Rest is important! It helps heal the body, reduces stress, boosts creativity and increases productivity. Slowing down is vital to our well-being. In church, we talk a lot about the work Jesus did and the ways we are called to emulate the Savior by serving. We don’t spend as much time exploring the value of refreshing ourselves.
In Mark 1, we read that Jesus has been doing a lot of work. He drives out an evil spirit, he heals Simon‘s mother-in-law, he heals others who were sick/controlled by demons. It is likely that many came to him after hearing about his other exploits. After all that he has done, we read that Jesus went away to a quiet place. His decision to step away offers us the opportunity to consider ways we might live more balanced lives. Jesus grasped this truth and we must too: to everything there is a season. There is a time for work and there is a time for rest. His example reminds us that we might want to consider taking time for rest and to reconnect with ourselves and the divine. We are invited to remember that we are human beings who are loved by God. God wants the best for us. We were not placed here to live a life that is consumed with work. Jesus knew that the source of his work (and ours) comes from above. Getting connected with God sometimes requires getting away and praying. Our refueling calls us away from the noise of the world— the requests of employers and loved ones—and into the presence of the One who spoke the world into existence and knit you together in your mother’s womb.
With all of this in mind, what are some things that you can do to reconnect with the Lord? What are activities or ways of being that you and I can engage in to help us connect with the One who loves us and desires to spend time with us? Maybe it is taking a walk, meditating, or engaging in breathing exercises. It might include doing yoga, mindfully sipping your coffee or tea. Once we’ve created the list, what is your plan to make this happen? If we are honest with ourselves, we know this is not just going to happen automatically. Revisiting the aforementioned text, people were looking for Jesus (undoubtedly, others were looking to be healed or delivered). Similarly, people will look for us (and undoubtedly, some will look for our gifts and talents). It is important that we protect our commitment to ourselves and to God. It might also be helpful to have someone hold us accountable so we follow through. My prayer is that we will move beyond planning and intentions and move into God-driven action.
*I want to invite people to email me your plan, your accountability partner or share with me how things work out for you. Those who do, will receive a small gift.