17 September 2014
Today stress levels and depression among the work force are soaring. Boundaries in personal space and time are no longer clearly delineated because technology has allowed communication to be instantaneous. People are impatient and more demanding than ever. Mobility has also increased as people travel across the world for business more often. There are accounts of depression leading to mental outbreaks of violence, sudden deaths due to health complications and other kinds of abnormalities.
Rest seems to be for the weak. Personal time and space shunned as irresponsibility. Efficiency is highly praised and regarded over anything else. But all this comes at a dear cost. As a society, we have not become happier or more joyful. We may be able to get more things done, see more people, earn more money, have more things and afford better holidays. But the most precious space and time away to ourselves has been lost.
When Jesus’ fame reached the towns, crowds of people wanted to see him and hear him. There were multitudes of sick and disabled people needing healing. People were not going to give Jesus any break to be alone. Quite legitimately, Jesus could have chosen to spend all his time with people as they truly needed his help. But Jesus didn’t. He would find a quiet spot to pray, sometimes not even telling his disciples and causing a frantic search for him. Sometimes Jesus would isolate himself from everybody around him. Most of the time, Jesus did this not to simply be alone and rest, but to pray and commune with God.
Jesus drew strength from God in these times of isolation. It is written that Jesus even got up very early in the morning, before the sun came up, just to pray and be with God. I can only imagine how exhausted Jesus must have been from all the teaching, walking (Jesus and his disciples did not stay in one town for long as they traveled to many regions to spead the gospel – by foot!) and healing. No blackberry and no phone, but i think Jesus must have been busier than any of us. Yet, physical rest took a second seat from the spiritual and emotional rest Jesus needed in God the Father.
So it is with us as well. In the busyness of this world, our time alone and away from clients, schedules, meetings and emails, if only limited to holidays and isolated breaks, would not serve to fulfill a gaping need for spiritual isolation and recharging needed for our souls. We were made for communion with God. The source of everything that is living. If we do not plug into the source, but only isolate our bodies from the problems, we won’t be getting much needed help.
Lord God, may i spend more time with You than just time alone by myself. May i not see time with You as taking time away from doing my own things, but may i see the real need to recharge in Your presence. You are the source of everything that i need. You see everything before me and You are already in the future. So i pray that you prepare me, recharge me, fill me in Your Holy Spirit with power and strength. May I keep close to You and guard my time and space with You against the distractions and demands of this world.