16th Sunday Ordinary Time: 19 JUL 15
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
Sometimes I think for many, our answer to this beautiful invitation of Christ would be to say something like….sounds great, but like right let’s get real.
There is a billboard on the way north out of the the cities….it says…Amazing…your text messages weren’t returned and emails weren’t answered and the world did not end!….
Pew Research Center:
Average 42 text messages a day
Average 110 emails sent/recieved per day
Average 3 email accounts/per person
Average daily commute 53.5 minutes/day
Average 1600 advertisements of some sort
Average 162 minutes per day on mobile devices
I think we could safely say we can see why no wonder it is such a struggle to discern and decipher the voice of God.
Lets go back to the Gospel….because I think we might have missed something……or at least assumed something….
Many times this Gospel has been used to push people into doing and giving more and more time, energy and effort to doing the work of being a Christian…ie Ministry…..
But the best Scripture Scholars will remind us to pay attention to what is not said, almost as much as to what is said!
Most of us would conclude from this story that the Disciples and Jesus did not get away to the deserted place…..but the Scripture does not say that…our minds say that…
I would conjecture that they did indeed get away and rest. Otherwise Jesus would not have had the energy to step off the boat on the other side and immediately begin to engage in the work again.
I do not know how, and I do not know where…it could have been an island….remember the Sea of Galilee is an average 8 mi wide…or it could have been a cove they found, to just rest and relax and rejuvenate for a bit. What is important is not the where, or what or how…what is important is that they did.
So the question becomes for us…how do we?
I don’t have magic answers….I have a few things that I have found work occasionally for me.
Silence is hard to find….so I find that I now am just a bit over the average daily commute—so I found that if I shut my cell phone off and the radio off….if nothing else when I get to work…I am just a little less stressed…and I actually am able to spend some time connecting with God.
I have found that a break, in which I remove myself from my environment totally….like getting up and walking….down the hall, out to the car…outside anywhere….is another way I can come away and rest a while….in fact for me….I now find it nearly an absolute necessity…
It is a busy world….it is a busy life….the challenge is to live it with intention, impact and grace.
To find the answers to the questions both Rev. Colleen and I proposed over the past few weeks takes time, if we are to answer them deeply.
The Spiritual life, unlike most of our world and lived experience, is not an instant experience.
We would like it to be, but deep faith is born out of time, patience, discipline, adaptation and commitment.
Maybe we need a smartphone app that sends us a text message or an email every day that says…..Hey this is God…can we hang out for a bit today?