A Quiet Place In The Country
Some people seem to thrive on the busyness of life. They are always in a constant state of movement. Running to the next scheduled event and always running behind just a bit. Their schedules are overbooked and overfilled with barely enough time to stop for a lunch break.
And it is not just busy CEO’s who cram every second of their busy schedules. Sometimes it is moms or dads or even the children who barely have time to breathe. For many of us, regardless of our jobs or titles, we can, at some points in our lives, just get over busy, over planned, and over worked. And while some people seem to thrive on it, too much of busyness and rush can take a toll on us. We need a break. We need a vacation. We need a quiet place in the country.
Reality is that even the country can be busy and noisy, (animals, farm machinery, etc) but compared with the constant noise and rush of urban areas, it does appear quieter. And many people seek out places in the countryside to visit at or even to purchase. It becomes a getaway from the hustle and bustle. A place to rest. A place to finally breathe and make room to think and relax.
I have found that I am especially sensitive to too much noise. I like visiting cities and do enjoy the fast pace of them. I actually like airports too, because I get to observe all the people coming and going in a hurry. It can be energizing for me. But after a awhile, I too, am longing for some peace and quiet. Too many loud voices, sirens and car horns can get to be too much.
Especially loud people in otherwise quiet restaurants, where I am trying to relax and enjoy a nice meal. Anybody agree? People, please use your inside voices when inside a restaurant and no, we, and I am speaking for my fellow diners, do not want to hear your entire phone conversation on speakerphone! Nor do we like listening to a one sided, blue tooth conversation as you appear to be talking to yourself.
Okay, so now that we have cleared that up, let’s look at the verse above. Jesus called the disciples aside and told them to go and find a quiet place. To eat. To rest. And to get away from the crowds. A secluded place. A place in the country.
Why? because they apparently did not have time even to eat. The crowds were demanding more and even following the group. They had recently come back from a ministry trip that must have been exhausting and had recently gotten news of John the Baptists beheading. For which they also went and retrieved the rest of his body for burial.
As Mark writes this Gospel, he records this event right before the feeding of the five thousand. Makes sense to me then that this was important. This rest before the gathering of the large crowd to feed. I wonder what this would have looked like if the disciples hadn’t had the time of rest. To refresh their bodies and their spirit. It would be like trying to run on empty. The very thing we often find ourselves doing. Just pushing through it, grabbing a protein bar or fast food, instead of finding a quiet place to relax and enjoy our meal. Or maybe it is working through all our vacation days. Maybe it is failing to say no to others, even though we know our schedule is already too full.
We cannot run on empty. We, like the disciples need to rest in order to prepare ourselves for what God has next. We need seclusion and quiet. The English Standard Version bible replaces the word quiet (found in the NIV Bible) with a desolate place. It is an interesting choice of words, but maybe carries a greater meaning. A desolate place gives an image of nothing else around. Completely secluded. No internet, No cell phones.
Jesus himself often went away to secluded places to pray to the Father. He too, needed to separate Himself from the busyness. If Jesus found a quiet place in the country, why should we think we are being more spiritual or more holy when we try to press though our schedules and sacrifice our quiet time with God, or with just the simple act of eating and taking care of our physical bodies. Let’s follow Jesus and find that quiet, secluded space. – God Bless, Nancy