Then Jesus said, “Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his apostles didn’t even have time to eat. (Mark 6:31 NLT)
Seven weeks into Summer quarter, I finally feel like I’m finally catching my breath in this accelerated Master of Science in Nursing program. I’d always heard that nursing school could be tough, but try condensing everything BSNs take three or four years to learn into about 15 months, and then you have my program. I know it’s not parenting, or working at a start-up, or perhaps not as stressful as some other circumstances, but for me, this has been quite challenging. And the idea of self-care in a world where time is money, and having it all means doing more, leaves me feeling guilty when I take time for myself.
In Mark 6:31, Jesus suggests taking a break because he and the apostles “didn’t even have time to eat.” I know this feeling! And Jesus knows it too! Never has it stood out more to me that Jesus was fully human than when I read this particular verse. It’s just so applicable 2,000 years later. Here is our Lord during his ministry, pulled in so many directions, and He knows full well that he and his apostles must take a break! I love it!
When I read this verse, I also feel that the break Jesus is suggesting is different from the idea of observing Sabbath—a whole day of rest. In the English Standard Version of Mark 6:31, Jesus says to “rest awhile”; this word is an adverb meaning a short period of time. While God took a whole day to demonstrate the Sabbath, Jesus here is just suggesting a short break to do a little self-care.
If you continue reading Mark 6 from this point, you see that Jesus is unable to take a break because his work is too important. It has eternal consequences. If that is the standard to which I must measure my current projects, then it is more than OK for me to take a break. That’s not to say that whatever work God has for us isn’t important. It just means that I don’t have to feel guilty about needing to pause and doing something for me, whether that’s a quiet time, watching a movie, or cooking a meal and sitting to eat. It’s OK; Jesus needed a little break too.
Miel can be reached by email here.