Mark 1

Scripture:Mark 1:35 In the early morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went away to a secluded place, and was praying there.

Observation-What does it say?  Mark, unlike the other synoptic gospels, jumps right into Jesus’ ministry, without any prelude of his birth or early life.  Throughout the first chapter, We see some profound beginnings of this ministry, including Jesus spending forty days in the wilderness, the first disciples being called, miracles of healing and demons being cast out.   News spread of the healings, and people came from all over the region to meet Jesus and be healed. Amidst all the hysteria, Jesus stole away to have time alone praying with His Father.  

Understanding-What does it mean?  I have a tendency to try to do it all myself.  Whether that be plumbing, gardening, or schoolwork.  I have issues with trusting people, so instead of allowing people to help, I pile up my plate with more and more projects and responsibilities.  I’m even like this with my feelings. When I am stressed or feeling alone, I hold it inside and try to conjure up the strength or energy to finish my jobs.  Then, after lengths of time of trying to hold my life together, I find myself tired and disconnected from God.    

Inevitably, the end of the year and the Christmas season get increasingly busy.  With all the shopping, the office parties, the block parties, the family parties, and…Christmas.  I used to find myself resenting this season because I would feel run down. I would feel weighed down by all the expectations of what Christmas is all about.  I’ve learned how to look passed the craziness to find moments to enjoy. Whether that be while preparing a traditional family casserole, or sitting by the fire with family, I embrace the moment and remember the good times.  But without these things to keep me centered, Christmas would be just another day.

Jesus, though, was demonstrating a different way of dealing with the stress of life.  Right when he was the busiest, he reached out to what would center Him. He demonstrates the fact that God is supposed to be the thing that centers us in this life.  Jesus was modeling what was written in the old testament. Psalm 46:10 says, “He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 tells us, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.  In doing this, our perspective changes to the lense of God, and our problems don’t seem as big.

Life Application:  Jesus, help me to find my center in You.  When the noise of the world creeps in on me, teach me to say “It is well with my soul.”  
 
-Tyler Galloway