Have you withdrawn to a deserted place lately?
In the gospels, we read that Jesus would take time to "get away" from events. He would retreat after particularly grueling days of healing people and casting out demons. Sometimes the gospels say that he prayed but other times that is left unsaid. Another time that Jesus went off by himself (some versions say he invited the disciples too) is upon hearing the news that John the Baptist had been executed and was dead.
We might see these times of "getting away" as Jesus' taking a break from his Messiah job. I would say, however, that Jesus is modeling appropriate "self-care." Rather than escaping from his ministry, his work, Jesus is recharging, re-energizing himself - in body, in mind, in heart, and in soul - for the continuing demands of his work.
We, all of us, have work to do: some is paid work and some may be volunteer work. All of us certainly have responsibilities within our homes and families. My question is this: Do we all remember to recharge ourselves? If our physical, emotional, or spiritual energy is low or depleted, how on earth can we expect to be able to do what we need to do, or want to do, or have to do?
Jesus modelled a kind of "recharging on the way" by his times of withdrawal for rest and prayer. He did this not instead of his regular Sabbath observance, but in addition to that. I would like to believe that Jesus didn't wait until his Messiah gage was on "E" but that he made sure, as much as possible, to take time to top off his tank on a regular basis.
So, all of the above is a reminder to us all. Now I'd like to mention a program I'm interested in doing at church that might be helpful for some.
I am aware that some people in the church are interested in meditation as a self-care practice. There are many different ways to meditate and I am aware of several and actually use a couple myself. Would you be interested in having a weekday (during daylight) program for meditation? I'm thinking that we could meet and learn about and try a different meditation technique at each session. After the initial 15 minutes or so, we would then have the balance of an hour for quiet individual meditation in whatever style works best for each of us. I need to hear from you if this sounds like it could be for you. Based on interest and ability to participate, we then proceed to scheduling.
While a deserted place may seem or sound empty, it is also true that in the stillness and silence of deserted places, we find ourselves and God. Jesus found places to recharge himself. Let us all remember to do the same thing.