Pastor Scott Hannon
St. John Lutheran Church Amherst, NY
I forgot to eat yesterday. I had meetings from 7AM through 9PM that night. Around dinner time I caught 45 minutes of free time and meant to grab a bite, but, like I said, I forgot.
And so, when I arrived at home at 9:30 that evening, I was cranky.
My wife wanted to talk about her day. I shrugged her off.
My older daughter used every delay tactic she knows so she could see me before going to bed so she was still up and wanted a story. Standing at her door, I quickly scrambled through a lame-duck narrative. Once upon a time there was a girl named Molly. She was tired. So was her dad. So she went to bed. And they all lived happily ever after. Good night.
When I crashed on the couch, my wife sat next to me. She wanted a conversation with an adult for the first time all day. I obliged by replying “yea” and “nah” to her questions – too tired to even put an “s” at the end of a one syllable word.
“Thanks for the riveting conversation, Scott.”
“What?” I replied.
“Exactly,” Kate said before leaving the room.
When she went to bed frustrated, I took my laptop out so I could write a bit. After all, I was on a role that day; I wanted to keep things going.
And then I read this:
The apostles gathered around Jesus to tell him all that they had done and taught.
Jesus said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. Mark 6:30-31
That’s when it hit me. I’ve been going and going. I need to eat.
I was hungry and cranky and tired. I thought I was being productive, but in the long-term I was hurting myself and my relationships with others.
When Jesus sees his disciples after a long day of healing and proclaiming, he does not say, “Great job! Now go back out there and do it again.” Rather, he says, “It’s time to come to rest.” When he spots his disciples who’re too busy to stop and eat, he says, “It’s time to come away and relax.”
We live in a world that lauds “busyness.” We brag about our hectic lives. We boast about all the things we have to do and all the places we have to be. We multi-task, because it is not enough to do one thing at a time. Our days are filled with coming and going; at times we don’t even have the leisure to eat.
That sort of life is not the life God wants for you.
Breathe today. Seek refreshment. Eat. Talk to your spouse, partner, and friends. Look into the eyes of a stranger. Tell a child a story. Say “yes” to yourself and “no” to the world.
In the midst of chaos and busyness, of coming and going, hear and respond to Christ’s call to come away and rest.
And don’t forget to eat. No one likes you when you’re cranky.
In the Way,
For more inspiration and insights from Pastor Scott and Pastor Shawn’s past columns, please visit www.jamestowngazette.com and click on the Faith Matters page. The Jamestown Gazette is proud to present our county’s most creative and original writers for your enjoyment and enlightenment.