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Benevolent Detachment






“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed” Mark 1:35-36


I marvel sometimes at the rate at which the world will “come after me”. Jesus could see it coming 10 miles away, but I can’t see it until it feels like it’s too late. Or I don’t notice it at all, try to continue at a breakneck speed, and burn out like Icarus.


The Drama of Life


We think it’s necessary to keep up with the drama of life so we don’t get left behind. So we resort to texting while driving, working while playing with our kids, speaking while thinking, or reading while eating. Everything is an attempt to catch up, to make up for lost time.


We’ve grown accustomed to drama, chaos, and madness in life. They shrink our world enough that we can look at it, and analyze it through life’s microscope. We stare at every part of the cell, identify all its weaknesses, and come up with a plan for “treatment”.


Which tool though would allow us to see more of God?


A microscope, or a telescope? And if that is true of God, then how much more true is it of those of us who bear His image?


Jesus is dealing with all these same things as he preaches in Galilee. So he gets up “while it’s still dark”, goes out to where no one can find him, and prays.


There are four verbs in this passage that emphasize the dedication and resolve Jesus had toward fellowship with his Father.


  1. He rises.


Communion with God and detachment from the world require rising. Do not sink down to where the world wants you.


  1. He departs.


Even the presence of his closest brothers is a distraction from the voice of his Father. If you want to truly hear God, go where only His voice will find you.


  1. He went.


A desolate place offered no outside influence on the conversation between him and his Holy Father. Don’t be afraid to be alone with God.

  1. He prayed.


The increasing crowds, the unceasing demands on Jesus’ time, and the fact that no one else could duplicate his ministry did not deter Jesus from spending extensive time in prayer.


Everyone Is Looking for Jesus


“And Simon and those who were with him searched for him, and they found him and said to him ‘Everyone is looking for you.’”


We read this verse and miss something crucial because, quite naturally, I think we all would have gone looking for Jesus.


However, do Peter and the others really think that Jesus doesn’t know that everyone would be looking for him? Of course everyone is looking for Jesus. He’s Jesus!


Sometimes though, when you stare through the microscope all you can see is need. All the other disciples can see are the needs, and don’t understand why Jesus went away to pray.


Jesus understands both. He understands the need in the “next town”, but he is also obedient to his father.


And that is where all of us should want to be found when the world comes looking for us… in a desolate place, on our knees, talking to our Father.


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