“I need some ‘me time’.” How often do we joke about this? I know for my own family, if we are about to go take a nap, sometimes we tease and say “I just…*sniff*…need some ME time right now, okay?” Yet, there is a tiny little part of us that actually means it. As a Western culture, we love our “down time”. We protect our vacation times, and are always looking for a chance to “get away from it all”–even if it means closing ourselves in our rooms.
I am a quiet person, so I sometimes love being alone in the quiet, just resting. Yet, so often I find myself getting aggravated when people interrupt my time. My little sister, because we share a room, often felt the brunt of it. Not necessarily outright agitation, but my attention would be reluctantly turned to her instead of being eager to love her 24/7. I was frustrated at people, frustrated at myself, and just…frustrated! Then, the Lord walked me through the gospel of Mark.
“Seeing the large crowds, He felt compassion for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things.”
Jesus was 100% God, but in the form of man. He had physical needs just as we have physical needs. He frequently went away “to a quiet place” to pray, or called His disciples away to rest (Mk. 6:31). But at the same time, even from the beginning of His ministry, He was completely swarmed with crowds. No matter the place or even time of day, He would find Himself surrounded again by crowds (Mt. 1:35, 3:7,20). There were times He was not even able to eat because there were so many people, desperate for His healing hand (Mark 3:20).
Can you imagine the physical AND spiritual pull of always being needed and always being asked questions? And yet, Jesus turned no man away who needed Him. “Seeing the crowds, He felt compassion on them”, and went to them. He did not roll His eyes or sigh because He was trying to have some “me time”. Instead, His heart was stirred to mercy. His humble spirit longed to comfort the poor, the widows, the outcasts, and the children abandoned by all. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” was the heart of Christ (John 6:38). Even when He was tired, He truly knew that “the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28).
Seek to serve others, my friends. Ask the Lord for strength (physical and spiritual) to pour yourself out, even if it means cutting into your “me” time. Do not be so protective of your down time that you miss out on the sweetness of ministering to those around you–especially your family; God has placed you in your family for a reason! Rely on the Father for help and you will see the blossoming fruit spring forth from your labor. May we seek to serve, just as He came to serve us!
By Anna Faith