“Every time I turned to Jesus to try and get some peace and orientation, he simply kept saying, Give this to me. Release this to me. Give them to me. And I was struck by how difficult that is, especially once you’re really worked up in speculation, worry, genuine concern, or anxiety. Jesus didn’t offer interpretation; he didn’t offer encouragement. . . . Release first; interpretation later.”- John Eldredge
“Very early in the morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house, and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: ‘Everyone is looking for you!’ Jesus replied, ‘Let us go somewhere else.’ “- Mark 1:35-38 (NIV)
In Chapter 2 (“Benevolent Detachment”) of Get Your Life Back, John Eldredge talks about an unplanned trip he took to the wild southwest corner of Wyoming. Because he needed to care for his soul. And, John quips, Jesus practically insisted on it! Twenty yards downslope in front of him, John spotted a golden eagle. Yet, this massive raptor with a seven-foot wingspan appeared oblivious to him. But John sighed with peace and happiness.
Furthermore, the author notes, Jesus cherished the practice of getting away. As we see in Mark 1:35-38, Jesus models a freedom of heart that every one of us desires. We too feel the allure of disengaging ourselves from the world.
However, John admits, it’s so hard to disentangle from the world. For example, someone says something to you in passing. Later, you find yourself wondering what that person meant with their comment. And soon, wonder gives way to worry.
Therefore, the author, counsels, we need Jesus’ grace to give us distance and breathing room – to get out of our quagmire. John concludes:
“When Peter began to sink into the Sea of Galilee, Jesus didn’t offer perspective; he didn’t pause to talk it through. He offered his hand to lift the drowning man out of the waves and back into the fold.”
Today’s question: In what area(s) of your life do you most desire peace and orientation? Please share.
Tomorrow’s blog: “The practice of benevolent detachment”