True rest should provide inspiration and fresh creativity
The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place 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 desolate place by themselves. (Mark 6:30–32)
Do you ever get weary from doing good things? I sure do. I wrote about my quest for rest one day in my journal:
This morning I sit in silence. The banishment of the spoken word will not last all day, but for these few hours, the moratorium is self-imposed and necessary. For too many months, my days have held too much activity and too little reflection. (Yes, I inserted the word “too” on purpose too many times in that last sentence.)
In the past few months, I have planned, prepared, polished, and provided public presentations. (Obviously, lack of rest does not affect my use of alliteration.) I am tired. I know that relaxing my mind is important, but I tend to relax to the point of paralysis. True rest should provide inspiration and fresh creativity, but lately I’ve had nothin’. The well is dry.
Jesus knew about the need for rest in order to replenish the soul. Pulling away for quiet moments was a part of his routine. In Mark 6:30–31 we read of the disciples’ return from a mission trip. No doubt they were tired from their journey, but the needs of the crowds that came to see Jesus required so much attention they did not even have time to eat. In the midst of this commotion Jesus turned his attention on his disciples. They had been serving and caring for others and now they needed to experience care.1 Jesus knew there was more service waiting for them, but the needs could wait a little while as they made a short boat ride across the river for a moment of rest.
I meet a lot of military wives who are beyond tired—they are weary. You may be among that number because of deployment, work, ministry, volunteering, family, chronic illness, or just the responsibilities of life. Will you notice the attention Jesus gives you today? Hear his voice say to you, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest” (Mark 6:31b NIV).
What are the challenges you have in making time to rest? What can you do to make time for self-care?
Prayer for the Journey
Lord, today I will be still before you and wait patiently for you (Psalm 37:7). Amen.
1 R. T. France, The New International Greek Testament Commentary: The Gospel of Mark (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co. 2002), 264