“Come away to a quiet place…” Mark 6:33
About twelve years ago I went to my first writer’s workshop. Because of the distance, I arrived the night before at a nearby convent where rooms were reserved. Arriving early, I found myself alone in a stark, shadowy dormitory formerly used to house novices. As my squeaking footsteps echoed through the empty halls I found myself getting anxious. I was nervous enough about following God’s call to use my writing, and I was trembling inside because of the strange stillness around me.
I remember thinking, “What is wrong with me? Why am I so uncomfortable being alone?”
With a busy home, husband, and homeschooling my three children, I was never alone and, rarely experienced silence. Who really does? We live and breathe in a noisy world; traffic, music, phones, jobs—there is always some kind of commotion around us.
Other than the technology, this is exactly what was going on in Jesus’ world. He and the disciples hardly rested because of the crowds that came to Him. He healed, fed, forgave, comforted, preached, raised, delivered, and fed some more…is it any wonder that Jesus told the disciples to come away to a quiet place. He, Himself valued and needed time in His Father’s presence in order to accomplish what He was sent to do and He was modeling this for the disciples—for they would need His power too.
God desires the same thing of us, to get alone with Him; He has things for us to do and we can’t do them in our own strength; we need His power. We need His direction. All would easily be missed in the everyday din and throng we live in. His “voice” comes in the slightest whisper; it falls like the dew that settles in the quiet of the morning on a quieted, seeking heart.
I have taken time to get away from my normal routine and each time it has reaped huge benefits. I have come back refreshed and able to focus on what God wanted to say through His Word and I have been revived in His presence. I tell myself I have to do this once a year at least, though I admit it has been awhile since the last time?
Well, I am preparing a getaway time with Him soon. I have some writing projects that need His guidance. I am facing decisions about my next steps. It is a perfect time to come apart from my everyday demands to spend some time listening for His still small voice.
So, what would a ‘come away place’ look like for you? What do you need to hear from God?