The Call to Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark, Day 9
35 In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. 36And Simon and his companions hunted for him. 37When they found him, they said to him, ‘Everyone is searching for you.' 38He answered, ‘Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.’ 39And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons. Mark 1:35-39What do you do if you are the Holy One of God and need a break? If your Jesus, you have to rise very early and go to a lonely place, an isolated place. When Jesus is out there he prays. After the day he has had of preaching, teaching, healing, setting evil free, and calling followers; he needs to recharge and reconnect with God. The need is overwhelming and this time in pray is needed to reconfirm his mission.
And yet, he cannot escape the need. Simon and others pursued him, they were chasing after him. They have sought him ought bringing with them the anxiety and needs of the crowds. They want their anxiety to be Jesus' priority. Jesus who has just spent time in pray knows what he has to do. Jesus does not take on their anxiety. He tells them they are going on to the next towns to preach for that is why he came. Jesus continues on preaching in synagogues and setting prisoners free.
Do you let the anxiety of others draw you away from your mission and purpose? Do you allow others to sidetrack you? Jesus on this journey will be interrupted by need and stop to help, but he shows us that it is ok to say no to anxiety in order to continue working to build God's kingdom. Simon uses the ubiquitous everyone is searching - to stress that there are others who have a need, but he doesn't have to own his need he is anxious for others. Jesus is not drawn into this anonymous, vague everyone. Do you respond to the they, the anonymous anxious they who wants but doesn't come to you directly? Or do you make it a practice to make sure you know who and how many the everyone is so you can speak directly to those who are anxious?
In this passage today we have the disciples searching for Jesus. As I read this line the image and music that came to me was U2 from Rattle and Hum singing "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." I invited you to listen to this song and get lost in the words and music. What are you searching for? Are you anxious because you haven't found what you seek? Stop for a moment and rest in the stillness of God's presence.
I Still Haven't Found What I am Looking For