Taking Time Out with the Lord

Mark 6: 30-34
Heb 13:15-17.20-21 / Ps 23

Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.
(Mark 6:31)

When work has reached a heavy pace,
With pressures you can ill afford,
Come away to a quiet place,
Unload your burdens to the Lord.

The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. Now many saw them going, and knew them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns, and got there ahead of them. As he went ashore he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.


The joke in our renewal community is, the more successful you are in ministry, the more you are rewarded with more work. This is true, and in fact many of us would like to take a vacation from our ministry “and rest for a while.” However, the multitude of activities that clamor for our attention cannot be ignored.

A brother already had his hands full building up the Charismatic groups in the barangay where his farm was located, so when he was appointed Chapter Head of the brotherhood, he knew the sacrifices involved in tending another flock at the expense of quality time with his family. “It’s only for three years,” he assured his son. But just a few months before his term as chapter head ended, the national president asked him if he could be the Regional Council Director covering five provinces. This meant liaisoning and guiding so many chapters and outreaches in a vast area of responsibility. A heavier challenge for another three years. To his surprise, his wife and children were proud and encouraging, because they knew he was happiest in the service of the Lord.

No matter how committed we are in our service to church or community, we all need space and time to retreat from our hectic activities and commune with our God. Even our Lord Jesus made sure that He could allocate a period of time to pray in between His busy schedule. Burn-out is a reality that we can avoid by spending moments of meditation and relaxation every so often with the Lord. Try it, and be reinvigorated.

Come away by yourselves with Me to a deserted place and rest for awhile.” How sweet those words are to this troubled heart. How practical and necessary it really is to take time out from the hustle and bustle of the marketplace, so that we can commune with You, our loving Shepherd, in Your sanctuary. Grant us the grace, to know the importance of taking time out an hour a day, a day in a week, or a week-end in a year to give to You. Prepare us, dear God for that day when we must also take the challenge to be sent out, as You had sent out your apostles to preach Your Good News of salvation. And when that day comes, let Your Holy Spirit sanctify this mission that we offer for the Father’s glory. Amen.

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