In the Gospel reading today from Mark 6, the Apostles return from their mission trip that Jesus had sent them on. They “reported all they had done and taught.” Jesus then says to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” He knew that they were probably exhausted.
Working for the Kingdom is a very good thing. It is what we are called to do. But it is work. I love this old expression – If you love what you do you’ll never have to work a day in your life. I feel very much like that. I love what I do! I am so honored that God has called me into ministry. But that doesn’t mean that I don’t get tired. It’s not only me – I see it all the time. People who love to minister and do God’s work eventually come to a point of burnout. Much of it probably has to do with the old 80/20 Rule: 80% of the work is done by 20% of the people.
How many times have you seen people who work for the Church being mean and grouchy? Burnout. Jesus knew that His Apostles could easily suffer from this. So He charged them with getting away and resting, taking time to be with and listen to God. Are you doing the same for yourself? Have you been on a retreat lately? Have you taken a day to just be quiet, listen to God and recharge? If not, plan something soon. God is waiting to spend some nice “alone time” with you!
Father, help us to remember to jump off the treadmill now and again. Teach us to rest, that we might come back to our service recharged and filled with joy! Amen.