Sunday, July 19, 2009

Come away to a deserted place

Artist: Francis Cadell

Here's the bit in this morning's gospel reading that really caught my attention today:

The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves.
And now I want to share with you a short passage from a sermon by The Rev. Dr. Ozzie E. Smith, Jr.:

Howard Thurman in a message entitled The Genuine in You, said, and I paraphrase, failing to listen to the sound of the genuine in ourselves is to render ourselves always on the ends of strings being pulled by someone else. Taking time to be still and know refreshes us to remember both who and whose we are. As Jesus says in this text, "Come, let's go to a deserted place all by ourselves and rest awhile." This, I believe, is pleasing to God and ultimately will be valuable to those we seek to serve.
I actually preached on the above passage myself this morning but I was thinking of the instruction to come to a deserted place as a remedy against burn out. And that it is. But I had not considered that it's the only way we will truly know ourselves so that we will not be manipulated by other people who seek to exploit us.


  1. This verse also reminds me of the scriptural admonition to pray "in secret in your closet" get away from the masses to do our spiritual practice.

    annie c

  2. In trying to justify to a hospital the need for a nurse to have time away from the floor/unit after the death of a patient (after the patient and family were cared for of course), I used the following quote attributed to Catherine McAuley founder of the the Sisters of Mercy,
    "Will you tell the Sisters to get a good cup of tea…when I am gone and to comfort one another."
    I wish I had had the wisdom to use this gospel message also. Nurses also find themselves in need of time to rest and eat even for just 5 minutes in order to continue caring for those they serve.
    Carolyn L.


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