Deep Breath and Be

While at the gym today I realized how much life is like a treadmill or stationary bike. People walking, running, or pedaling in place exerting energy but not going anywhere.

Life can seem so busy that I wonder if we think we’re doing the right things. Sitting there observing myself and others thinking if we are using the equipment right waiting for our workout to finish and then move on to the next set. Are we doing things right?

Worries and anxieties build with pressure, and the things I can truly affect get buried in the things over which I have no power. We continue running on the treadmill as meetings, school fairs, jobs, activities, family, and other social events get added to our schedule. The pace quickens and the incline gets steeper. At times like this, I feel I just need some focus or clarity. How should I spend this precious, limited time that God allots to me? More importantly, how does he want me to spend each moment?

Jesus had just finished a very busy day in Capernaum, preaching, healing, and casting out demons. The demands grew as the day progressed. As the stories of his miracles spread, the entire city gathered at his door. Jesus’ work continued until well after dark, and he must have collapsed into bed at the end of an exhausting day.

The crowd gathered quickly again the next morning, as people brought their sick family and friends to Jesus’ healing hands . . . but Jesus was nowhere to be found. His disciples looked everywhere for him and when they finally found him, they asked the Son of God, “Where have you been? Don’t you know everyone is waiting for you?”

Jesus’ response to the pressing needs, hurting souls, and sick bodies was completely unexpected: “Let us go somewhere else.” What? Go somewhere else? What is he thinking? 

Jesus had risen before dawn and gone away to a secluded place to pray and seek the will of the Father. He poured out his heart to his Dad and asked for wisdom; the answer he received in return was, “You are finished here for now. It’s time to go somewhere else.” 

We are all busy people doing important stuff. There’s a lot to do. There is family to care for, educations to pursue, careers to furnish and there never seems to be enough time. In all of our strategizing, planning, “doing less for more,” “making sure we have steps and not just programs,” and all of the other best practices that guide us, let us not neglect the one thing that brings clarity to everything else: regular time with our heavenly Father.

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