“The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.” (Mark 6:30 – 32)
The downside of achievement is being besieged by those who want to watch you, just in case you do something else that is noteworthy. Jesus had that probably during his ministry and he found places to be alone with his thoughts (other than the Divine who was always present with him). Jesus desired for his disciples to have rest, and process what they had done and what they had seen. Remember Jesus had sent out the disciples with very little – very little in terms of supplies and very little in terms of preparation for the onslaught of attention. But it was training for them; and now they needed to train to attend to their own needs.
“Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.” (Verses 33 – 34)
What do you do, beloved reader, to get “down time”? How do you refresh yourself and tend to your own needs? One of the ways I do that is to write these reflections. Sometimes do so, I feel burdened and strained at the outset. Most of the time though, it relaxes and centers me. Sometimes feeling the inspiration of the Holy Presence inspires me, and I gain much from the experience. Once in a while though, I struggle with what to write and say, and when it is when I have finished writing that I feel the peace in my spirit and in my soul. And yes, in the process of writing I am taught many things.
“When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.” (Verses 53 – 56)
Jesus the Messiah was not inexhaustible. Remember the time he was so tired he feel asleep in a boat while a storm was whipping up? Granted, when awoken he calmed the storm; and in the verses that this passage from the RCL omits he walked and water and calmed the storm. But this is not to say that Jesus could go 24 hours a day seven days a week.
Everyone, beloved reader, everyone who walks or walked this earth in human form needs to confirm to the reality of needing to rest the human body. Everyone needs, or should, take some time apart from others to relax and meditate. The desert mothers and fathers knew this to be true. People who live the contemplative life (even part time) know this to be true. In order to be present for others, to meet the needs of others & live an authentic Christian life – one has to meet one’s own spiritual needs.
May you, beloved reader, take the time to fill your own spiritual well so you can draw on that well to minister to others. Shalom & Selah!