Gospel: Mark 1:29-45
Old Testament: Genesis 37:25-36
New Testament: 1 Corinthians 2:1-13
Psalms: 119:49-72,49, 53
“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.” Mark 12:35
A couple days after I read this verse, I attended the St. Matthew’s Annual Leadership Retreat at Meadowkirk. In case you have not been there, it is a lovely place in the countryside outside of Middleburg, Virginia. Serene is the word that comes to mind to describe Meadowkirk. At night you can see an unbelievable number of stars. Fields of tall grass dance in the wind, a nearby stream actually burbles, deer wander about, and most importantly, no sights or sounds of the city.
So there I was in the morning, outside, by myself; and all the clutter that normally runs around in my mind just disappeared. This verse came to mind, and it struck me that in this environment, praying is easy. Only the important things were in my mind that morning, my family, friends, and people in need. I took that opportunity to pray for each of them and to give thanks that they are in my life.
All too often, I find it difficult to pray because I let the clutter, job, politics, money, etc., get in the way of what is important. That morning, it hit home. I realized the importance, whenever possible, of finding a place where I am relaxed, a place that is devoid of all the trappings of the world that take my mind away from everything, especially the people, that is truly important in my life.
I will not be in such a serene location as often as I would like, but perhaps if I am open and listening, God will show me other such places in my life where I am able to focus on what is important.