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Time Away

“In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.’ He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’ And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.”
Mark 1: 35-39

Do you ever just want to get away? Is there too much going on, too much being asked of you? Do you just need a little space to breath and maybe to pray? Then you are in good company. In the passage above from Mark’s Gospel, Jesus had been curing the sick and casting out many demons. He had to be exhausted. So, He got up early in the morning and went out to a deserted place, He got away from all the people who demanded His attention. That does not mean that He did not love them; it does not mean that He did not care for them. After all, He had cured the multitude of people who had been brought to Him and He had cast out many demons. Yet, He also needed some quiet time away from those people He loved; time to pray and to be alone with God.

Even Jesus needed time without distractions to pray. So, as we begin this New Year, I invite you to follow the example that Jesus set throughout His life and ministry that, from time to time, you spend some time alone with God in prayer. Take some time away from people so that you can listen for God’s voice, so that His voice is not drowned out by the busy-ness of the people around you. Then, like Jesus, when your short time away has ended and you have been found, you can return to your tasks having been renewed and refreshed by God through prayer.

O God of peace, who has taught us that in returning and rest, we shall be saved, in quietness and confidence shall be our strength: By the might of your Spirit lift us, we pray, to Your presence, where we may be still and know that You are God; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
The Rev. Lisa R. Neilson
Associate for Pastoral Care and Women's Ministries
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