And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, [Jesus] departed and went out to a desolate place and there he prayed. Mark 1:35
Have I ever confessed to you that I get sad when I watch Little House on the Prairie? My heart also grows heavy at Christmas time when holiday movies are common place on my screen. All of the older shows, like Happy Days and The Walton’s trigger a deep emotion in my soul. And it’s not because I had a thing for “The Fonz” or have a pressing desire to drive covered wagons pulled by horses. (Although, I would have wanted a bonnet just like Laura Ingalls).
But my heart grows sad because these shows are black and white reminders of how far removed we are from simpler times. Our culture is becoming increasingly cluttered with noise, media and materialism – and I am not being judgemental … I’m just stating the obvious. I watch the shows of years past and think how these characters had no clue how an iPhone would change their lives. “MAC” was a guy they new in the 6th grade and Tweeting was something a bird did before sunrise.
I honestly long for simplicity in a deep, deep way. I can make an idol of it if I let myself. I confess to you my desire to buy 15 acres of land with 4-5 Godly families and build a little community of our own. Our own “little houses on the prairie” outside of Knoxville city limits. And there we could home school our kids, grow vegetables and watch the sunset in rocking chairs. And although you know as well as me that I would probably pull my hair out after one week — needing a Target fix and a Starbucks Pumpkin Mocha with skim, I long for simplicity, all the same.
I just wish we could rethink it all, really. All the busy we have up against us.
But when I read Mark 1:35, I realize that we aren’t the only one who needed to rethink the busyness and pull away, intentionally finding quiet space in order to hear from God.
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, [Jesus] departed and went out to a desolate place and there he prayed. And Simon and those who were with him searched for him and they found him and said “Everyone is looking for you.” And he said to them, “Let us go on to the next towns, that I may preach there also for that is why I came out.” Mark 1:35-38
Jesus, our example, demonstrated the importance of pulling away from noise. It was necessary for Him to be alone with His Heavenly Father – away from all the people pulling on His robe from every angle. He needed a desolate place so He could hear clearly and focus on the One who brings peace and order to our chaos.
I love it that Scripture puts the plug-in for “early in the morning”… you know I love the hours before sunshine, but what strikes me most about this verse is what is read between the lines.
“And [Jesus] says… “Let us go on to the next town, that I may preach…”
Jesus went to that desolate place and prayed. He went to that desolate place to worship His God. But do you see what was the end result? When Simon Peter came to get Him, Jesus had his game plan for the day.
God had given Jesus His marching orders.
It is 100% safe to say that if I pull away from all those things – all those sticky hands pulling on my shirt tale, all those emails filling my inbox, all those enticing boards on Pinterest that beg for my attention – I will hear from God and receive the game plan He has for my own day.
It is critical that I do this. Necessary. Non-negotiable.
Life is too important to operate by my own agenda. I am here on assignment. So are you! We are ambassadors for Christ, placed strategically in our homes and communities for a purpose. And I need to enter into a desolate place (be it early in the morning) and pray…so I can know clearly what I need to do next.
Oh, I am getting fired up!
So as much as I’d like to believe that Laura Ingalls had it better, we all know that she had noise. And she, too, deeply needed the Father to tell her what to do about that Nellie girl.
Today, how can you pull away to a desolate place? Even for a few minutes? Shut down the noise – Close the computer screen.
Enter into a place where the sacred is spoken. Do you have time right now?
We don’t need bonnets or sock hops to take us to simpler times, we just need five minutes in His Presence.
Dear Lord, I confess being negligent of pulling away to enter into Your presence. Today, I intentionally come asking for forgiveness and ask You “what do you need for me to do today?” What is my assignment, if You will?! I want to please You! I want to be obedient to You in everything I do. Meet with me Lord. Silence the noise and speak. In Jesus Name, Amen.