“And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”

Mark 6:31a

According to tradition, when the apostle John was overseer in Ephesus, his hobby was raising pigeons. It is said that on one occasion another elder passed his house as he returned from hunt- ing and saw John playing with one of his birds. The man gently chided him for spending his time so frivolously.

John looked at the hunter’s bow and remarked that the string was loose. “Yes,” said the elder, “I always loosen the string of my bow when it’s not in use. If it stayed tight, it would lose its resil- ience and fail me in the hunt.”

John responded, “And I am now relaxing the bow of my mind so that I may be better able to shoot the arrows of divine truth.”

We cannot do our best work with nerves taut or frayed from constant pressure. When Jesus’ disciples returned from a strenuous preaching mission, their Master recognized their need for rest and invited them to come with Him to a quiet place where they could be refreshed (Mark 6:31).

Hobbies, vacations, and wholesome recreation are vital to a well-balanced, godly life. We lose our effectiveness by keeping our lives so tightly strung that we are always tense. If it seems we can’t relax, Jesus may be inviting us to take a break, to “come aside . . . and rest a while.”

“If our body, soul, and spirit are to function at their best, time is needed for renewal, time for leisure, time for rest.” D. De Haan.

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Garment of Praise

Monthly Insights for Spiritual Growth, Encouragement and Personal Victory.

Oluyemisi Onanuga

Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible.

Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.”

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