Is your Christmas tree down yet? I have a friend who kept her tree up last year until April! She would report in weekly if she had taken it down and it was so funny…and so relatable!
We’re busy, right? We’ve got stuff — jobs, family, responsibilities. Our lives can feel like one big revolving door! You know, just when you get done with one thing, here comes another!
So, when I read Mark 6:31, I thought it could have been my friend’s Twitter post during those weeks she was just too busy to get her Christmas tree down! Or, quite honestly, I thought it could have been my own Facebook status or maybe even yours! Here it is:
For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat. Mark 6:31 NASB
At this time in Mark’s gospel, Jesus and His disciples had been busy, busy busy! They were teaching, preaching, healing, and going from place to place. They hardly had time to change their tunics before they were on to the next thing.
The disciples’ schedules were so full of people coming and going that there wasn’t even a minute for a quick drive-thru!
Sounds familiar, doesn’t it?
We all have busy and crazy days. We all have people in our lives coming and going. We lead them, we follow them, and we clean up after them! Some days are just so busy we don’t even sit down, much less eat!
We could easily insert ourselves into Mark 6, couldn’t we?
I love that Jesus knew what His disciples needed — and He knows what you need. That’s why He was pretty specific with His disciples in telling them what to do in such a demanding situation.
Jesus told them, “Come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest a while…” (Mark 6:31)
Jesus knows we, like His disciples, can wear out, burn out, and run out of steam. That’s why He gives us a way to deal with the pace of our lives so that we can avoid that burnout. In fact, He gives us three ways!
I’ve put them in my own words but they’re based on His Word:
1: Get away
Jesus told His disciples to “Come away.” In other words, leave where you are — the hustle and bustle — and change your location. If you stay in the fast lane, there is no way to rest.
Jesus knew His tired and hungry disciples wouldn’t be able to rest and recover if they stayed in the thick of the crowd who needed them. Girl, it’s the same with us. People will always have needs and we will always want to meet those needs. But, we can’t do that well if we don’t pay attention to our own needs every now and then. To care for others well, we must care for ourselves well.
That means, you just need to leave the crazy for a spell and change your location. Often, just a change of location will bring on a change of attitude and perspective. And a renewed perspective can renew your strength.
So, maybe get away with some friends once a week? Or, walk away when your people are being fussy and step outside for even just ten minutes to clear your head. Getting away will help keep burnout away!
2: Get alone
Jesus told His worn out disciples to come away “by yourself to a secluded place.” Now, if you’re an introvert, you have a new favorite Bible verse. Introverts love to get alone in secluded places. I should know, I am one! Give me a day alone in my house and I am energized for a year!
But, if you’re not an introvert, this verse may make you want to run to the mall and hug random people! Thankfully, Jesus’ words here have nothing to do with introvert or extrovert preferences. Jesus words have everything to do with what we all need.
We all need to take pockets of time to just be alone with our thoughts and our Lord. We all need to get away from the noise and demands and chatter of our lives so we can just be, rather than do, do, do. It may be ten minutes that you need or two days, but we all need it.
So, when you’re feeling torn, finding yourself running from thing to thing, take some time to get away by yourself to a secluded place, even if it’s your closet or bathroom. When you retreat you’ll be revitalized.
3: Get off your feet
Jesus told His disciples to “rest for a while.” Rest can be many things, but today we’re looking at it as getting off your feet to get some sleep. There’s just no substitute for sleep.
When the sun goes down, gear yourself up for being obedient. Yep, look at sleep as your spiritual act of obedience. You’re taking care of the temple God placed you in. It’s just one way to “glorify God with your body.” And I’ve just gotta say, it’s one of my favorite ways to obey!
This post originally appeared on JenniferRothschild.com and was republished with permission.
Jennifer Rothschild has written 14 books, including the bestseller Lessons I Learned in the Dark and Me, Myself, and Lies. She’s been featured on Good Morning America and Dr. Phil and is the founder of Fresh Grounded Faith events. Jennifer became blind at age 15 and now helps others live beyond limits.