“And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.” - Mark 1:35
There are many titles Jesus wears: Savior, Holy One, Perfect Lamb, Son of God - but one that is sometimes overlooked is Example. We think, “Well, sure, HE could do it, HE was the (insert title here)!” But, even though we are not perfect like him, we are still meant to follow in his footsteps.
This is one of those times. Here, Jesus shows us how to have a deeper relationship with our Father, how to take time away and focus on God. He finds a “desolate place” far from his friends and disciples, and prays.
Where is your “desolate place”? Do you have one?
Your “desolate place” can be a physical location, or a time of day. It can be your bed, or the park, or the kitchen table, or driving in your car. The only qualifications of a “desolate place” are for you to be able to focus and for you to be alone.
Believe me, I understand how hard that can be. Finding solid alone time has only seemed to grow harder with age. I’m constantly being bombarded by kids, texts, emails, not to mention work and volunteering. And then, even if I’m not with other people, I’m so easily pulled into the distractions that are my phone, or a show, or sometimes even a really good book. It is a struggle to find my “desolate place” and I’ve found the only way to do so is to be like Jesus - to be intentional about it.
In the verse, it says he rose “very early in the morning.” I’m not a morning person, but I take the spirit of what he did and apply it to my life. I set aside a time when other people don’t need me (usually during the day when the kids are at school) and take some time to read my bible and pray. Maybe you love the mornings, or maybe you’re a night owl. Whatever time works for you, find it, be intentional, and set aside as least five minutes to pray. You won’t be perfect (neither am I), but I encourage you to try.
Dear Heavenly Father, please help us to follow your son’s example and find our desolate place. We so desperately want to grow closer to you. Help us to be intentional and to set aside time each day to spend purely with you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.