Read Mark 1:35-39
35 Before daybreak the next morning,Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray. 36 Later Simon and the others went out to find him. 37 When they found him,they said,”Everyone is looking for you.”
38 But Jesus replied,”We must go on to other towns as well,and I will preach to them,too. That is why I came.” 39 So he traveled throughout the region of Galilee,preaching in the synagogues and casting out demons. (NLT)
Anyone familiar with the dynamics of a marriage or a friendship will recognise there are two general modes of communicating. One is the sharing of thoughts and plans and ideas in the midst of action. A casual remark,a quick exchange of information,a few words here and there as we go about our various activities.
And then there are the more intentional times of communication. The sitting down and eyeballing one another,the in-depth dialogue,sharing at a deeper level with fewer distractions,taking longer to speak and to listen.
So it is with our communication with God. Some of it is while we are ‘on the go’. We mention a name in prayer,we think a fleeting thought in prayer. We recollect a fragment of a bible passage as we drive down a freeway or utter a one-word cry for help as we answer the phone.
This is a healthy expression of our being in constant relationship with God,praying without ceasing,bringing God into the mundane realities of life. And yet we also need that prolonged time with him,spending time with him to listen to him as well as address him. Otherwise our relationship with him becomes functional and circumstantial. We need to intentionally make time for him and put other things aside.
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Jesus illustrates this balance. Much time with his Father. But then up and about doing the Father’s work. It seems he couldn’t truly have done the latter until he had first done the former.