The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225

  (609)646-1181

Church of Christ

12/03/2009

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"The apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all that they had done and taught. Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, 'Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest' " (Mark 6:30 & 31).

Though exercise is good, the body needs an amount of time to recover from strenuous activity. In distance training, an extremely hard day is usually followed by an easier one. When much work has been done, a period of rejuvenation is needed. On our church fishing trips, we often have one of the mates filet our fish on the way back to port. They work fast and hard, but stop periodically to sharpen their knives and rest a bit. "Downtime" in our spiritual lives is an important way to replenish our energy. In today's verses, Jesus made that very suggestion to his apostles. "Come with me to a quiet place and get some rest." Just as the body is designed to rest after much work, so is the spirit.

This is not to mean that it is time to "veg out." There are productive things that we can do spiritually that help us to be reinvigorated. I don't think that Jesus and the apostles kicked back on the recliner with the remote in hand. They probably rested for a period of time and then reflected on what they had accomplished. I could see them in quiet meditation and prayer. "But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed" (Luke 5:16). I am sure after a period of prayer that Jesus was ready to get back to his service.

It should be no different for us. Our "downtimes" should be excellent opportunities for prayer, study and meditation. We might even go out and take a walk, reflecting on what we have read and prayed about. Life is much too short to agonize about things we cannot control. Sleepless and restless nights are often the result of not allowing the Lord to take control. In my favorite section of the New Testament, the apostle Paul gives some fantastic advice on how to maintain our spiritual health. "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present you requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus" In these periods of rest, we are even told what should fill our minds..."Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable----if anything is excellent or praiseworthy---think about such things" (Phil. 4:6-9). I cannot improve on this....

Have a wonderful day... Go about doing good... Love mark Phil. 4:11

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