”Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest”
Mark 6:31 (NIV)
We live in a world that is ruled by deadlines and targets. Packed within each 24 hour timespan is an endless number of tasks and demands, some of which we’ve placed upon ourselves, some of which have been placed upon us by others. This fast-paced, hectic speed of life has become our norm. There can be seeming hordes of people demanding your time and attention, maybe your own little ones who don’t give you two minutes’ peace to use the bathroom, or it could be the non-stop demands of work colleagues as you try to finish a project before the deadline. There are times when we give and give and feel we can’t carry on. Jesus understands that. He says to come apart to a quiet place and to take a rest. We need that time of rest with Jesus to recharge our batteries and renew our spirits.
In the Gospel story surrounding today’s key verse, the apostles were tired and weary after a long day ministering. Although they were empowered by God to do his work, Jesus knew they could not keep up this pace. Even Jesus and his followers needed to take time out to eat and to get some rest, so he took them on a boat to find a quiet place. They were exhausted on every front, physically, emotionally and spiritually and they needed time to regroup.
Maybe you feel guilty for taking time out to recharge. Perhaps you feel a sense of wasted opportunity if every space on the calendar isn’t filled with appointments and activities. Yet you are feeling exhausted, burnt-out, at the end of your rope. Then hear the voice of your Saviour welcoming you to a quiet place where grace flows, the Spirit refuels and mercy repairs what has been stretched and strained beyond what it was meant to bear. We all need to take a break from the action from time to time.