“But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed.” – Luke 5:16
We could each probably name a place that is peaceful and beautiful to our mind’s eye. A place we leave feeling refreshed and renewed. For some it’s a garden, a porch, a favorite chair in front of a bay window. For others it’s the woods, a stream, the beach, the mountains . . . For me, it’s fields.
Over the Thanksgiving holiday, Adi and I had the luxury of trading in walks along the streets of our community for romps through soybean and corn fields. We traded in leashes and sneakers for whistles and boots. Noise and roads for quiet strolls.
In these fields, I watched Adi enjoy the unleashed freedom of following scent trails, peering down groundhog holes, shredding cornstalks, and running across the open space. I in turn had the freedom to breathe deeply, reflect, pray, and ponder. As Adi could stop to smell the air, look and listen, I could stop to see, feel and hear the presence of my Creator. We both returned to my childhood home refreshed.
As the Thanksgiving holiday comes to an end and the Christmas season gets underway, I sit here with mixed emotions. On one hand, I love this coming season filled with rich traditions, the people I love, and the celebration of Jesus’ birth. On the other hand, I dread the hamster wheel of activity that already fills my calendar and to-do list and inevitably leaves me exhausted.
My time in the fields last week drove home the need to follow Jesus’ example.
To carve out time to freely walk away from the bustle of activity,
to get to a quiet place,
and to be refreshed by time spent with the Lord.
Only then will I be able to enjoy what matters most this season- Jesus, my family, and my friends.
I hope in reading this lesson you will be encouraged to carve out time to get quiet and focus on Christ during this Christmas season.
“. . . He said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.” -Mark 6:31