How often do you have something in mind before you do it? Do you plan out exactly what your semester will look like before it starts? Or make big decisions in your head before consulting family and friends or God first? As Greeks, most of us are used to planning our lives and our days out down to the minute. Since most of us are very busy, this is a must. But sometimes we take it to extremes.
As an undergrad, not only did I have my classes and house activities scheduled, but I also had a nice little timeline in my head of when I wanted to start dating someone, get married & get my Master's degree. We see a different picture in the life of Jesus. In the midst of some crazy ministry experiences in the beginning of the book of Mark, Jesus takes some time to be alone with God, to allow God to shape what is next for Him.
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. 36 Simon and his companions went to look for him, 37 and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”
38 Jesus replied, “Let us go somewhere else—to the nearby villages—so I can preach there also. That is why I have come.” 39 So he traveled throughout Galilee, preaching in their synagogues and driving out demons.
Jesus is in an interesting position. He has been gaining fame and recognition for all of the people he was healing. Crowds begin to follow him around just to get a glimpse of what he will do next.
He could have continued on in this and would have looked super successful to everyone around him. But instead Jesus slips away quietly in the morning. He goes to a lonely place to be with the Father. There he receives not only time with his Father, which is so important, but also vision for what's up next. If it were up to Simon and his companions, Jesus would have stayed and healed everyone, but Jesus knew it was time to move on. So Jesus goes to the nearby villages to preach and cast out demons.
Think about how your life might be a little less chaotic if you took time throughout the semester to slip away to a quiet place to be with the Father. Think about the potential for God to meet you and direct you in your next steps.
Spend some time right now just being with God. If you have a big question ask it. And then just wait. Listen for God to direct you. You might just sit there and hear nothing, and that is totally okay. There is a lot to be gained from just sitting and being with the Father. But you might start to hear his nudges or whispers.
Continue to practice the discipline of waiting and listening for God. This is often hard to do as people who want results right away -- but it is often in these silent lonely places where God meets us deep in our souls. If you're a planner like me, schedule these moments into your semester. Don't schedule how God will meet you (leave that up to Him), just schedule out the time to listen to Him. You may be surprised at what's next. Turns out the plans I made in my head weren't God's plans for my life anyway. I don't have my Master's degree yet and didn't get married at the age I thought I would. But God has blessed me and showed me His direction for my life, and I couldn't have planned it better myself.
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