One winter my husband and I enjoyed a relaxing trip to the Rocky Mountains of Colorado during one of their famous snow trimmed winters. We were fortunate enough to stay in a beautiful home owned by some friends. This Victorian home was backed up against a mountain just off Interstate 70 and looked over the serene village of Georgetown. The scenery of quaint shops, piping chimneys and snow covered mountains was the perfect retreat for us to get a way and refuel for another season of work.
Many wise people recommend breaks away from life’s demands. A butterfly must bask in the sun in order to absorb enough heat to raise their internal temperature before they can fly. People also need to “fuel up” with rest and relaxation. Jesus is the most powerful example of balancing his ministry with time away from people and busy places. As we peek in on a typical day in the life of Jesus in Matthew 14, we find that Jesus relied on short breaks between events in His day to give Him the energy and focus He needed.
Jesus lived a hectic life, especially during his three year public ministry. He was constantly surrounded by takers, those who only made demands on Him to perform miracles, feed them or answer trick questions. It was in the midst of one of these hectic days that Jesus received word that his cousin and forerunner in the ministry had been beheaded.
“When Jesus heard what had happened, He withdrew by boat privately to a solitary place.” There is something incredibly calming and refreshing about being out on a boat en route to a solitary place. This was just what Jesus needed to deal with the devastating news of the death of the man that had baptized Him in the Jordan River only months before. It is difficult to sort through feelings and emotions while in the midst of crowds. Jesus sets an example that while large crowds of people needed Him to heal their sick, He took a brief moment out of His vital, God ordained activity to tend to His own needs.
Jesus’ retreat was simple, unlike many of the choices offered today to those desiring a break away from the noise, crowds and deadlines of daily living. Sometimes extended weekends only leave us more tired and frayed. These types of breaks are more exhausting than refreshing.
When you think back to your most refreshing getaways what comes to mind? Without taking a break away to our designated mountainsides and lakes there can only be less and less fuel left to deal with life’s demands. Why run on empty when the needed power and perspective is only a “solitary place” away?