And after Jesus had dismissed the crowds, he went up the mountain by himself to pray. When evening came, he was there alone.
In the morning, while it was still very dark, Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed.
Meanwhile, Jesus would slip away to deserted places and pray.
Life can be overwhelming. This was true, even for Jesus. When the crowds overwhelmed him, or the immensity of what God was asking of him, he consistently would go off and find some quiet, some time alone, and pray.
It is such a wonderful reminder to us that we all need to find time for some quiet, some peace. We live in a world of noise and input - constant information and sensory overload. We live in a society that glorifies busy-ness.
Often when Jesus would sneak away for a little solitude “the crowds” would follow him and demand his attention. And yet, Jesus continued, time and again, to go off in search of quiet time for prayer and reflection. It is often not easy for us to find the time or the space for quiet reflection - there are so many demands on our time.
The model Jesus sets, however, reminds us how important it is to keep trying. To continue to seek out those quiet moments - especially when we are overwhelmed by all of the demands, when the time seems least available. That is when we need it the most.
Today I was feeling overwhelmed. The pressure of my day felt like too much and so I went outside for a moment of solitude. I sat under a tree with my whirlwind of thoughts and after a few moments I started to hear the wind in the trees…I listened and I heard the voice of God in the rustling leaves. I don’t mean I heard an actual voice, or words. But I heard, in the rustling, a calming message…a reminder of perspective and a reminder of God’s presence.
We need these moments. Moments to still our minds. Moments to open our hearts and our ears to the voice of God…to the presence of the divine all around us.
Pastor Heather Grell