"Come away to a quiet place…” Mark 6:33
Mark 6:33About twelve years ago I went to my first writer’s workshop. Because of the distance, I arrived the night before at a nearby convent where rooms were reserved. Arriving early, I found myself alone in a stark, shadowy dormitory formerly used to house novices. As my squeaking footsteps echoed through the empty halls I found myself getting anxious. I was nervous enough about following God’s call to use my writing, and I was trembling inside because of the strange stillness around me.
I remember thinking, “What is wrong with me? Why am I so uncomfortable being alone?”
With a busy home, husband, and homeschooling my three children, I was never alone and, rarely experienced silence. Who really does? We live and breathe in a noisy world; traffic, music, phones, jobs—there is always some kind of commotion around us.
Other than the technology, this is exactly what was going on in Jesus’ world. He and the disciples hardly rested because of the crowds that came to Him. He healed, fed, forgave, comforted, preached, raised, delivered, and fed some more…is it any wonder that Jesus told the disciples to come away to a quiet place? He, Himself valued and needed time in His Father’s presence in order to accomplish what He was sent to do and He was modeling this for the disciples—for they would need His power too.
God desires the same thing of us, to get alone with Him; He has things for us to do and we can’t do them in our own strength; we need His power. We need His direction. All would easily be missed in the everyday din and throng we live in. His “voice” comes in the slightest whisper; it falls like the dew that settles in the quiet of the morning on a quieted, seeking heart.
I have taken time to get away from my normal routine and each time it has reaped huge benefits. I have come back refreshed and able to focus on what God wanted to say through His Word and I have been revived in His presence. I tell myself I have to do this once a year at least, though I admit it has been awhile since the last time.
Well, I am preparing a getaway time with Him soon. As I write this, I am anticipating my time away with the Lord this weekend. My mind is already going there which is a dangerous thing because I need to “be” at work this week. There are so many things on my heart. I have a huge writing project I am working on. I have a decision to make about a ministry step—is it His time yet? I have “packed” so many things in my heart to take along.
Preparing Your Getaway
Are considering your own getaway? It doesn’t have to be complicated. Here are some thoughts as you plan:
Choosing a place
Take into consideration your budget when you choose a location; not too far, but just far enough away. Some options include a day trip to a park, waterfront, or other quiet place nearby; a hotel, B&B or other overnight destination; a retreat or conference center which may offer inexpensive accommodation especially during an ongoing event.
Things to contemplate
Is there a prayer item that you have been struggling with?
Are you led to a Scripture and want to meditate on its application in your life?
Are you faced with a decision or need direction?
Is there an area where you need to let go?
Are you getting a glimpse into a ministry you need to pray through?
Are you facing concerns and you need His peace?
Are you restless, sensing a need for change?
Things to bring
A Bible, journal, pen, a teachable and expectant heart (camera or sketch pad optional)
Things to avoid
Cell phones, internet access, email, or any other distractions
As you plan a time alone with Him, I pray you will feel the stir in your heart with the knowledge that He is wooing you there. He has something to whisper in the depth of your soul and is preparing your heart to receive it.
I can hardly wait.
Jeanne Doyon enjoys encouraging others to love God's Word and to draw nearer to the Lover of their souls. She writes, teaches and is available to speak on a variety of topics. Jeanne is a contributing author to Fighting Fear, Winning the War At Home, and Kisses of Sunshine for Women. Her articles appear in Evangel, Live, Proverbs 31 and Living Magazine. She shares her reflections on her blog at www.streams-edge.blogspot.com. Email Jeanne at [email protected] and find out more about her speaking topics at www.jeannedoyon.blogspot.com
Publication date: May 28, 2011