Jesus shows us how to keep sharp
In today's gospel scene from Mark 1:29-39 Jesus has a very busy day of healing people. After healing Peter's mother-in-law more people are brought to him to experience his healing touch.
There is no denying that the healing stories of Jesus are incredible and miraculous, but, I think the most important line in the gospel comes near the end and is often overlooked:
"Rising very early before dawn, he left and went off to a deserted place, where he prayed."
After he prayed in the deserted place THEN he went back to his work with healing people.
Yes, even Jesus got physically and spiritually tired from the work that he was sent into the world by His Father to do. Even Jesus had to find time to be alone to rest and pray.
We live in an age when we are all expected to be "on" all the time. Taking a rest and even praying is seen as a sign of weakness. Yet, as we all know if we don't get enough rest we become irritable, grouchy, and in the end useless to those who rely on us.
I am reading this wonderful book right now called "Keep Sharp: Build a Better Brain at Any Age" by Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Dr. Gupta is well known for being a medical reporter on CNN. In this book Gupta gives helpful advice on keeping your brain healthy, alert and possibly avoid dementia and alzheimer's disease. What is one of the important tips he gives for staying sharp? That's right...get plenty of rest!
The same is true for taking the time each day to pray. As much as our bodies need rest our souls need nourishment, too. We need to take the time to spend time with Jesus talking and listening to Jesus. When we set aside time to be in a conversation with God (actively talking and listening with Him) our souls find rest and God recharges our souls so that we can go on doing His work in this name.
There are so many people who rely on us to bring the love and joy of Jesus into their lives. As much as that can be fulfilling work it can also be tiring. We must avoid burnout. Resting and praying are not signs of weakness but powerful ways get stronger. We need to take the time to rest, to pray and keep sharp!