The Lord was acutely aware of the need for people to find time and space to reflect on their lives. In today's Gospel (Mark 6: 30-34) He calls His Apostles to “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”What great advice for us as well! How many time have you often yearned to do this!
But it seems that they had the same difficulty in the time of the Lord as we have today. People found out and tracked them down. And, quite naturally, Jesus did not send them away or try and move somewhere else. Instead He began to teach them. We find accounts of the Lord going off by Himself at other time, sometimes successfully, sometimes not so successful. But the important thing to remember is that He saw the value and tried to find a time and place where He could reflect and pray. And He sought this out both alone and with His Apostles, so obviously there is value in both models.
We need to try and do the same. It is just as difficult today, especially with ever-present cell phones and blackberries. But if we do not make an effort to find that time and space, we will never be able to hear God's voice as He tries to speak with us. Our prayer becomes a one-way conversation, and we do all the talking. This is certainly not a healthy way to strengthen a relationship.
Just as the Lord, we will certainly not always be successful in trying to get away, but that cannot stop us from trying. In addition to refreshing the mind and body, finding time and space to reflect and pray, whether alone or with others, has to be a key part of our spiritual life. It may be difficult, but it will definitely be worth it.
So, how will you find your "deserted place"? And when will you start looking for it?