The word of the day is listening. Solomon went to Gibeon; the Apostles, with Jesus, went away to “a deserted place to rest and to pray”. The goal of the journeying was reflection. Solomon wished to know how he could rule with wisdom, although he was young. The Apostles were seeking an opportunity to reflect upon what had happened recently in their ministry. I find this parallel instructive. Time and distance are often needed if we are going to be effective servants. God wants to have an opportunity to be present to us – “come away for a while” is a standing invitation.
Things don’t always work out. Jesus and the Apostles ran into complexity. Rather than finding an opportunity to rest, they are confronted with a needy crowd, and they rightly respond. The requirements of the Christian life often interrupt our need for rest and renewal.
Yet, I think, when the needs quiet and the when the crowd grows silent, the invitation to go away and take some time remains. Without this we will eventually lose our way. We may even forget why we are doing what we are doing. Without time for prayer and renewal we will not be able to live into the depths of today’s psalm prayer, “Lord, teach me your statutes.”
No one is too busy. Take the time.
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