It’s no surprise that Mark is my favorite Gospel, especially since his favorite word seems to be “immediately.” Yet, tucked into the fabric of this succinct narrative covering the ministry of Jesus, we also find a valuable principle to successful leadership – time to get away.
The old Southwest Airlines commercial made famous the line, “Want to get away?” Well, just imagine the stress of hearing about the decapitation of your friend, John the Baptist in Mark 6! That kind of pressure would make anyone want to get away. Yet, Mark records for us that ministry continued forward at a blistering pace (feeding the 5000 is next).
I often find myself in the same non-stop mentality (from addressing a crisis to ministering to masses) without the convenience of taking a break. Just because you know that you need a break doesn’t mean that you will take one.
The stress of the urgent is something we can all relate to. However, Jesus interrupts the pressure-filled moment by saying to His disciples, “‘Come away by yourselves to a remote place and rest for a while.’ For many people were coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat” (Mark 6:31).
I have not always mastered this important principle, but those seasons when I have been able to get-away, it has always yielded more effective ministry. It is never convenient to take breaks. In fact, it is costly. But, thanks to strategic planning (the older we get, the more that our plans are intricately connected to other’s schedules), the last 10 days, I’ve been able to reap the benefits of time away. A wise person schedules time with the Lord that excludes others.