Come Apart Or You’ll Come Apart
Say “New York” and what comes to mind? Towers, traffic, 8 million crammed on an island 13.4 miles long and 2.3 miles wide. But if you head north from the city toward Canada, you end up in the Adirondacks, one of the most gorgeous places in the world. In the late forties my dad founded a camp in the heart of this forested mountain wilderness on Schroon Lake, and I remember him on the phone urging his friends to come on up to Word of Life, “high, high, high in the Adirondacks.” When they resisted by stressing how busy they were, he responded, “If you don’t come apart, you’ll come apart, so you better come apart.”
At the close of the Galilean ministry as his disciples came home from their two by two mission, Jesus stressed, like my dad, that they needed to come apart to a quiet place and rest for a while.
“The commissioned ones, the apostles, gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and what they had taught. And Jesus said to them, ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile!’ He suggested this because so many folks were coming and going that they didn’t even have time to eat. So they got in a boat and went away to a secluded place by themselves. But…..” Mark 6:30-33a
On Tuesday I was showing my class at Southern Bible how the Jewish prophets accused their people of not keeping God’s commandments. For example: Jeremiah stressed that the 70-year Babylonian Captivity came because Judah had not given their land the rest it was supposed to have every 7thyear. They just kept right on plowing, planting, and picking, so the Lord took the people away to Babylon and let his land have a break (2 Chronicles 36:21, cf. Leviticus 25:4). If dirt needs a break to restore its fertility, then certainly we need to realize how important it is to obey the fourth commandment and get away with those who are close and rest a day once a week.
LORD, thanks that you care so much about us that you commanded us to get off the treadmill and relax. Help me to not keep racing so I miss what is most important—quiet times with you, listening.
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