“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 6:31
It was in November 1997, that I first began to write this column, Along Life’s Road. It all began during the wee hours of the night, when I was awakened to the strange, constant and annoying barking of a dog. Looking through the window, I discovered that it was a dog from around the area, like others who perennially conduct patrol through my corner. He jumped the wall and could not remember how he got into the yard, hence the continuous barking as he ran from gate to gate.
Then, all of a sudden, sheer exhaustion, like a nosedive, had him sprawl out on the lawn at full length with all fours stretched out – and in our native home talk, “let me catch myself”. How I laughed as I saw this real, live animal comedy, and again, suddenly, remembrance came to him and he raced to the lower end of the wall and jumped high into the air – over and out!
Along Life’s Road was born out of this incident and our text for today came into my spirit with the thought – when you are stressed out, stretch out.
Our nation has been through lockdowns for days on end. We have been under curfew for months, and I always smile at the time for curfew – 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. – for this is basically when the most-high God said that man would drift into sleep for the day is over and no man can work in the night.
This sixth chapter of the gospel of St. Mark is filled with drama. It opens with Jesus and his disciples returning to Nazareth of Galilee, and on the Sabbath day, he, along with his disciples, went to the synagogue to teach. The people were really amazed at his wisdom, teaching and mighty works, but they allowed their contempt to only look at him as Joseph, the carpenter’s son.
Today, I pray that you read this chapter for yourselves, unlike some who would want you to tell the whole story of a movie rather than they go and see it for themselves, and follow Jesus and his disciples as they had a full day of ministry.
We begin with verse 30 with the disciples after a full day, giving Jesus a report of the day’s activities, what they had done and what they taught. Jesus was quite pleased and told them to get some much-needed rest, as they had not even taken time to eat.
I hope your COVID-19 lockdowns were advantageous, and you used them not only as a time of rest, but to engage in home exploration, new ideas, spiritual and moral introspection, generosity and reciprocity, forgiveness for victor and victim, planning void of plotting, imparting in place of exploiting, loving sans hating and national pride rather than political expediency.
I hope you used the lockdowns to maximum advantage, away from working unhealthy job syndromes and gossipmongering, and took it as a breath of spiritual fresh air from wolves in sheep’s clothing.
Thou God knows our frame and what is best to keep us on the earthly journey to our heavenly home.
• E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com, or write to P.O. Box SS-19725 Nassau, Bahamas, with your prayer requests, concerns and comments. God’s Blessings!