I love how the Bible tells us not only about the specific things Jesus said and did but even gives us a glimpse into habits that Jesus had. He modeled for us how to live a life full of peace and authority. One of the things He did often was get away from the crowds that were continually following Him and separate Himself for just one-on-one time with His Father. He modeled for us how important it is to be refueled so that we have something to give to the people around us. The list of the roles we play in other’s lives goes on and on . . . parent, spouse, employee, employer, friend. We love the people in our lives and want to be a support to them. We desire fulfilled marriages, thriving children, and careers that bring us satisfaction. On top of that, as Christians we want to be reaching out and helping our fellow man. It seems the people around us are counting on us to help them fulfill their lives’ journeys, but how can we really be giving others the life-sustaining oxygen they need when we ourselves are gasping and turning pale blue?
In the last few years, I have had the opportunity to spend a lot of time in a tight space called the coach section of United Airlines. As I sit shoulder-to-shoulder in the middle seat, experiencing what bologna feels like between two slices of wheat bread, I repeat to myself “I will not covet, I will not covet” as I see just before me the “so close and yet so far” first-class seats. The flight attendant begins reciting a life-saving presentation that has little importance . . . other than saving one’s life. While it is good to know that the seat I am currently sitting in doubles as a floatation device, the info I think we can use in our everyday lives is the part of her presentation where she tells us to put our oxygen masks on before helping those with whom we are traveling. Our human nature would want to put our child’s oxygen mask on first, but logic tells us that while we were aiding others, we would be gasping for air, eventually pass out, and be of no help at all to those around us.
The same is true in our everyday lives, isn’t it? We hit the ground running with a schedule demanding that children be fed, clothes be ironed, expense reports for work be completed, etc. How about when sermons need to be prepared? Even “God’s work” can scream to be attended to when wisdom says to put our oxygen mask on before we do anything else. It’s the life-giving oxygen provided when we spend time with our Father. Hey, if Jesus, the God of the universe, knew how important it was, then how much more so do we need to refuel in prayer? Let’s daily enjoy this wonderful gift of prayer and communing with Him that He has given us, not only for our benefit but for those who are counting on us.
Mark 1:35—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!”