One of Jesus’ defining moments followed a time of “getting away”.
He had been on a whirlwind “tour of greatness” in which He was healing people, casting out demons, teaching/preaching, experiencing the adulation of the crowds and the cold, menacing shoulder of the religious leaders of the day. He had just healed St. Peter’s mother-in-law (I wonder if He asked Peter before He did that?) and “got up in the grill” of some evil spirits. He was very likely tired. What did He do?
Many people today are like Jesus in that we live in a whirlwind tour of “greatness” (?)… well, at least a whirlwind tour. We keep busy doing what we believe or at least hope are good and productive things. There comes a point at which we just get tired. What do you do?
Jesus had worked hard and done much good, so He took off for some quiet time… He got away (aka solitude). St. Luke writes, “At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place” (Luke 4:42).
And then the defining moment happened…
At daybreak Jesus went out to a solitary place. The people were looking for him and when they came to where he was, they tried to keep him from leaving them. But he said, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.” And he kept on preaching in the synagogues of Judea. (Luke 4:42-44)
The opportunity was there for Jesus to continue His tour of greatness! He could have settled in, done good work, received accolades and payment for his ministry, no doubt been asked to speak at some conferences, and likely have retired safe, old, and esteemed. A good gig for a normal dude, but Jesus wasn’t that.
Something happened during his “time away.” His time of solitude wiped away the “smudges” that busyness had left on the windshield of His life. Solitude served Him like windshield wipers serve a driver in a rainstorm… it brought clarity.
Principle lesson: Solitude is a great place to discover clarity.
Jesus could have said, “They love me! They need me! I’ve been seeing great results here! I’m going to stay and continue my ministry here!” Instead, after a time of solitude, He responded to their strong requests to stay by saying, “I must preach the good news of the kingdom of God to the other towns also, because that is why I was sent.”
Out of His “get away” (solitude) flowed clarity of purpose. He knew what He had to do! His purpose was refreshed, His vision was clear, and His determination was solidified. Why? Very likely these conditions were a direct result of His “get away.”
Guys, busyness and even success will fog up the windshield of our lives. We’ll be prone to make decisions based on results instead of purpose if we’re not careful, and ultimately we’ll stray away from the very purpose for our existence!
Take this lesson from Jesus, it is in solitude that clarity is discovered and when we are clear about our purpose we’ll make the best decisions.
How do you “get away”?
Do you have a special time? A special place?
What do you do when you “get away”?