Hitting Pause

As the so called “freedom day” moves nearer, I am becoming increasingly nervous.

My nervousness is not just because of the increasing cases of COVID 19, although it cannot be ignored.  Nor is my nervousness because I do not think this “freedom” will not quite be what people are hoping.  The reality is, COVID is still with us, and there will be some precautions we will need to take for some time.

My nervousness is based on a concern that people will expect to pick up where we left off last March, as if nothing has happened.  I fear some people are going to be disappointed.

I do not want to pour cold water on peoples hopes, nor am I a “doom and gloom” merchant.  But, I have been reflecting on this as I read a Bible verse;

Then, because so many people were coming and going that they did not even have a chance to eat, he said to them, “Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place and get some rest.”

(Mark 6 vs. 31)

Jesus had sent the disciples out on the mission field.  He had told them to take nothing with them, but to simply trust that God would provide for their needs.

What those disciples discovered was that God not only met their needs but, God had blessed them abundantly.  They had a message to preach.  They brought healing and wholeness.  There were signs of the kingdom breaking through.

When they return to Jesus they must have been absolutely “on fire” for the kingdom and raring to go. It was exciting and if Jesus had said to them, “That’s great guys, off you go again” they would have done.

Jesus response seems a little strange;

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

Why, when everything just seems to be green light go, does Jesus slam the brakes on?

Why does Jesus hit the pause button?

After so many months of lockdown, many are straining at the lead and raring to go.  We want groups to re-open.  Activity.  We have had a whole year and a bit and now, this is it.

But, I wonder, if Jesus may be saying to us;

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

Why would he say that?

I have come to believe that Jesus is inviting the disciples to step aside and process all that has been happening to them. 

I am sure that the Church I attend is not unique.  A lot has happened to us as individuals and as a fellowship.  We have said goodbye to some folk.  Some of us have faced major challenges in our working environment.  Others have had health issues.

Many of us have had to face our fears in the various circumstances in which we have found ourselves.  Most of us have had to live with disappointments.  Quite a few of us have been far busier than we would have expected to have been, under normal circumstances.

We need a chance to process, to draw breath and find where God is leading us now.

I don’t know whether we are going to be in normal, new normal or new new normal. What I sense is, Jesus is hitting the pause button.  I believe he is saying to us;

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

As we do that, He will renew and strengthen us for the next part of our journey with him.