Alone Again, Unnaturally

“Jesus used many similar stories and illustrations to teach the people as much as they could understand. In fact, in his public ministry He never taught without using parables; but afterward, when He was alone with His disciples, He explained everything to them.” Mark 4: 33, 34 (NLT)

I wonder if there is a parallel in these words with our present day lives and our ability to understand, well, anything? Sometimes I think my life is one giant parable, occasionally making sense on one level but giving off the vibe that there is something deeper going on. It is a lot easier to just ignore the possibility of another layer, but should I? What would it take for me to glimpse, much less understand, what is going on below the surface? 

In a biography by Eric Metaxas, I read that Dietrich Bonhoeffer used to have his seminary students spend one hour every morning quietly contemplating a small section of scripture. Alone. (There was initial resistance to his methodology—and this was before cable and the internet!) We live in such a loud, busy, fast world that we barely have time to spend with friends face-to-face so we relegate our relationships to the digital realm via texts, retweets, comments and “likes” on Facebook. As crazy as it sounds to our 21st century ears, maybe getting alone with Jesus gives Him space and time to explain things to us. We just need the discipline to carve it out and do it. 

How? I can’t answer that for you. Only you know what will work for you, what will need to be given up (yes, there will need to be sacrifices), what will need to be done. But it is worth consideration even if it isn’t easy.

Here is an added bonus for contemplation from Charles Spurgeon, commenting on Genesis 24; 63, “Isaac went out to meditate in the field toward evening.”: “We would all know more, live closer to God, and grow in grace if we were alone more often. Meditation chews the cud and extracts the real nutriments from the mental food gathered elsewhere. When Jesus is the theme, meditation is sweet indeed.”

1 comment:

Nick Griffin said...

love this, jay. thank you.