Solitude as rest from everyday life

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Silence Part 9: Wendy Bray looks at the need to take a break from the business of life

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.' So they went away by themselves in a boat to a solitary place. Mark 6

 

 

 

We have considered times of silence and solitude for contemplation and prayer, and how important it can be for us to develop these times as a priority, as Jesus did. But what is so wonderful about the Gospel accounts of Jesus' life and work is the humanity displayed there. Jesus got tired, his feet got dusty and he ran out of time and energy, and so did his co-workers. More than anything, perhaps, Jesus understands our humanity and our weaknesses. He knows that there are times when we reach the end of our rope, when we can go no further, when burn-out is threatening and we simply need to rest. This scene is so contemporary, isn't it?

Some years ago, I was speaking at a large Christian conference with a speaking partner who was well known and much loved. Walking around the site together, I soon understood what it was to experience everyone 'wanting a piece' of him. It was all well meant, of course, but nearly every person we met wanted 'a few words' or 'a moment' of this man's time and energy, forgetting that they were just one of thousands. Quickly realising that he had little time to eat, just like the disciples in this scene, and even less time to rest, I became his unofficial minder. I would turn up to debriefing sessions with sandwiches and find quiet places for him to 'hide' in order to rest. a boat headed for 'a solitary place' would have been useful!

Taken from Day by Day with God, published by Bible Reading Fellowship, available to purchase from Eden.

15th March

March 15th, 2012 - Posted & Written by Ian Matthews

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