“Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” –Mark 6:31
Do you ever feel like you’re just going and going and going without any time to just sit for a while? Does your mind get overwhelmed with project deadlines, remembering birthdays, and trying to figure out what to cook for dinner day after day? It happens to me too. I happens to all of us to some degree. The sixth chapter of Mark makes me think that it was happening to Jesus and his disciples as well. But Jesus takes the time to tell us to find a quiet place for rest.
We all need to rest. Given what has been going on in our world with the response to the international pandemic, rest is even more important for us now. Our lives have been turned upside-down with new information bombarding us every few days. Our minds and thoughts have turned to how we remain safe in the world, keep ourselves mentally stable, and keeping tabs on our friends and families to make sure they are staying safe and cared for. I’m sure this is similar to what Jesus and his disciples were feeling while his disciples were sent out two by two to heal throughout the lands. Surely the disciples were constantly trying their best to remain safe going into new lands and spaces while trying to look out for the well being of others. It’s an exhausting task.
With all of the disruptions that are around us, we need the time to recenter ourselves. We need time for our minds and bodies to reset and refocus. Before he fed the five-thousand, Jesus recognized and vocalized the importance of finding a quiet place to rest. I know for me, finding a quiet place can be challenging but then I remember that praying is a time to rest my mind and clear our minds. I use it to talk about my day, say what is on my heart and mind, and use it as some time to just be. Sometimes that awareness and the ability to just be can be the most restful thing. Even after feeding the masses, Jesus took time to himself to go up the mountain and pray.
Later, the sight of Jesus walking on the water brings visions of the calm point in a storm. Jesus’ ability to remain the calm presence in the midst of the stormy winds and waves reminds us of how we should try to be in the storms that gather around us from day to day. By being a calming presence, Jesus was able to calm his disciples and eventually calm the storm.
“Come with me… to a quiet place…,” Jesus says. We know that Jesus is a calm and quiet place for us to rest in and pray in. My challenge for you is to find the way to be that quiet place for others in the time of the storm. It won’t always be easy and it might not ever be easy, but I believe that it is a great example for us to follow.
Holy One, as we navigate through these unknown times, remind us to be a pillar of peace for others. Just as Jesus walked through the storm and calmed the storm, help us to walk through our lives with the ability to help calm the storms around us. Amen