Mark 6:31 – ‘And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” For there were many coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.”
We live in a world of relentless pursuit of “Achievement.” And in that vein, we even forget to stop and take a breather or two.
This morning, I attended a men’s bible study at my church. The bible teacher related the story of two foresters, who decided to compete against each other and see who could chop down more trees in a day. One was young and new to his profession, while the other was considerably older and more experienced. On the day of the competition, the younger forester rose up bright and early, and began chopping trees. For eight long hours he continuously toiled, without even taking a break. He was determined to outdo his opponent. “After all, I am much younger, more energetic, and a lot stronger than him,” he thought to himself. Moreover, as the day progressed, he noticed his opponent taking a ten minute break, every hour. “Victory is certainly mine,” of this he was assured of. At the end of the day, count was taken to determine the victor. To his utter surprise, his opponent chopped down forty trees, while he ended up with twenty-one.
“How is it possible, old man?” In shock he asked. “You took a break every hour, and yet you downed twice as many trees as I did? How did you accomplish that?” The old man, in a quiet, deep voice replied, “Yeah, yeah, I understand your question. It is true that you were working hard, grunting and groaning, sweating profusely. But every hour I sat down for ten minutes, I did two things.” He said, “First of all, I recovered. Secondly, during the recovery time, I also sharpened my axe. It is true, you were working hard, but you were working with a dull equipment.” Friends, even Jesus, seeing His disciples weary because of the people around them, and the fact that they hadn’t eaten anything, tells them to “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” I pray that God will help us to take time to rest, in order to prevent exhaustion.
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