‘Come away… and rest a while.’ Mark 6:31 NRS
Following Jesus should energize you, not leave you feeling burned out. Jesus preached to farmers who used oxen to plow their fields. They also lived by religious rules that didn’t permit you to relax and experience God’s love and grace. So Jesus told them: ‘Come to Me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you. Let Me teach you… and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.’ (Matthew 11:28–30 NLT)
Jesus had more to do than any of us, yet He never seemed to do it in a way that severed the life-giving connection with His Father, or interfered with His ability to show love when it was called for. He regularly withdrew from the rat race in order to pray. Even when His disciples returned, flushed with success from a busy time of ministry, He told them, ‘Come away… and rest a while,’ because as Mark records, ‘Many people were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.’ (Mark 6:31 NRS) Constant hurry is the mark of an un-prioritized life—a sure sign that second and third things have become first things.
Not only did God command us to rest every seventh day, He told Jewish farmers to let their fields rest every seventh year so they’d produce better harvests. The problem is we want microwave maturity… to exchange wisdom for information and depth for breadth—but it doesn’t work. Depth comes slowly. Following Jesus can’t be done at a sprint; you can’t go faster than the One who’s leading.