Posted by: pmarkrobb | May 18, 2014

as Jesus did

What word would you say best describes the rhythm of your life in its present tense?  Flying back from California this past Friday, I was on the periphery of a conversation between a couple of passengers and flight attendants.  The flight attendants were seated in jump seats directly opposite an exit row of passengers and they were having an animated conversation about the pace of modern life.  It was clear that all were in agreement that “people’s schedules are too full and hurried.”  I thought it was interesting, and of note, that none of them spoke of their own lives, only in generalizations about others.  It made me want to ask them the question that I just asked you.

So how would you answer that question?  Would your answer be consistent with their generalized judgment?  Would it be either of the two words I just mentioned … “full” or “hurried?”  If you answered in the affirmative to either or both of the previous questions, you are absolutely not alone.  My own life, and that of my family, has been full or hurried many times in the past.

But while you or I might admit to that, and in turn likely feel bad about it, I’m not sure it’s that simple.  I have been thoroughly exposed to the human wisdom of margin; the idea that our lives and relationships should not be packed full, but maintain a healthy bit of buffer.  Mentally, physically and emotionally this makes good sense.  We shouldn’t run ourselves ragged, experience persistent stress, or be in a constant state of busy.  It’s not good for us … right?!

I’m pretty sure the “right answer” to that question is “yes.”  The slightest hint of uncertainty, however, makes me pause for a moment and ask myself a question.  “What word would Jesus say best described the rhythm of His life?”  Let’s all just stop for a second and let that question sink in.

I know I’m going to pay closer attention as we travel the rest of this year through the gospels focusing on the words of Jesus.  Pay closer attention to the pace of His life and see what it speaks into mine.  My initial thought is that Jesus’ life was pretty full.  I think He was busy … busy doing his Father’s work.  And I believe there were times when Jesus felt physically exhausted from “doing.”   This leads me to wonder about these seemingly good practices of slowing down and margin.  Was Jesus concerned about those things?  I honestly don’t know, and my intent here is not to convince you either way.  I’d simply be curious for you to join me in considering it.

I think two things are absolutely true.  First, our lives are full and hurried.  And second, the answer to that is not as simple as slowing down or seeking margin.  I absolutely don’t take issue with either idea, but I’m more interested in living as Jesus did.

This week’s reading schedule will end with Jesus feeding the five thousand.  Just before this big event, “the apostles gathered around Jesus and reported to him all they had done and taught.” (Mark 6:30 NIV)  They had been busy, and as verse 31 suggests the scene around this gathering was overly busy too.  Jesus speaks to them and to this scene at the end of verse 31…

Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.

This invitation to the disciples was characteristic of Jesus’ own life.  Many times in the gospels we read of Jesus stealing away to a quiet place, most times to pray.  I believe we do best to live our life as Jesus did, certainly in contrast to following the world’s prescriptions.  I have made stealing away to a quiet place a consistent practice in my own life.  I encourage you to consider it for yourself.

How about a “challenge” for this week?  Commit Jesus’ words that end Mark 6:31 to memory today.  Say them over and over in your mind or out loud until they seat themselves in your memory.  Speak them this week, obey them this week, do as He suggests.  Go with Jesus to a quiet place.  Commit your occasions in that quiet place (whether just once or several times over the week) to memory, or journal them.  Then next Saturday when you read those words as a part of the daily reading, review your thoughts or journal entries.  As this week closes, look back on your week and take note of how it went.  It will no doubt have been full, but I am eager and expectant for what He will do in your life and for His kingdom because of your obedience to Jesus’ invitation.  It is best to live our life as Jesus did and not as the world prescribes.



  1. I will consider with you these words of Jesus in Mark 6:31 this week – “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

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