This morning my husband and I just drove off towards Osnabruck. When my husband drives, we only drive country roads because that is the best way for him to relax. He does not like highways or a lot of traffic; he just enjoys driving around in the countryside. As I suspected, the journey dragged on - sometimes along a railway line, sometimes through a small village. On the way, we had very serious conversations about Jesus and the end times. There is always something new to consider and observe.
At noon, we took a short break at the bakery. On the way there, my feet got wet, because although it is still August, it was cool and rainy. The wind swept around every corner. I think driving in the rain like this is nice, but my eyes tire very quickly. On the way, back we stopped at a gas station and you will hardly believe it, but I fell asleep in no time. I closed my eyes for about five minutes and held a "power nap.” "Power napping" is a short "minute nap" during the day. It increases concentration and makes you fit for the rest of the day. Even in my time as a teacher, this often helped me to regain new strength for the remaining afternoon lessons or for a teachers' conference.
After waking up, I thought of Jesus and his brief sleep in the boat. In Mark 4, 35 - 41 (NIRV) we read: “When evening came, Jesus said to his disciples, “Let's go over to the other side of the lake. They left the crowd behind. And they took him along in a boat, just as he was. There were also other boats with him. A wild storm came up. Waves crashed over the boat. It was about to sink. Jesus was in the back, sleeping on a cushion. The disciples woke him up. They said, “Teacher! Don't you care if we drown? He got up and ordered the wind to stop. He said to the waves, “Quiet! Be still!” Then the wind died down. And it was completely calm. He said to his disciples, “Why are you so afraid? Don't you have any faith at all yet?”
Jesus lay down for a moment after a busy day. He was so exhausted that tiredness right in the boat overwhelmed him. The trip on the lake was routine for men, as many were experienced fishermen who knew the Sea of Galilee very well. After all, it was the workplace of Peter, James, and John long enough.
Jesus rested and drew new strength. When his disciples woke him up, he was amazed at their behavior. They had seen that he had worked miracles; they knew he was around and now while he was doing a "power nap" they panicked.
Just like Jesus, we also need our breaks. Some breaks are only very short; others are a little longer and more extensive. We cannot work and concentrate all the time. God gives us these periods of rest. He gives us the Sabbath; He gives us a sabbatical year every seven years; He gives us His regular holidays not only to pay homage to him, but also to relax and to gather new strength.
Immediately after his short break from strength, Jesus was able to work fully and concentrated again. Since we should and want to become more and more like him, we can and should learn to imitate him here too.
Jesus always got up early in the morning to spend time with our Heavenly Father. Long before the others got up, Jesus was already deep in conversation with God. God told Jesus what to expect during the day. Jesus did nothing without seeing his and our father doing it beforehand.
Let us imitate Jesus: let us take time to talk to our Heavenly and Almighty Father; let us praise and praise him and then start the day fresh. When we notice that, we are exhausted, let us take a short break to gather new strength and later continue to do God's will; let us take our regular nights of rest and after six days rest together with God and have fellowship with Him.
Let us take Jesus in our boat and hand over the reins to him. He knows the way to the Father and in truth leads us to eternal life. (Joh 14, 6)
We should listen carefully to the course he is setting: what his will be for this week, what dates are on his calendar for us. We can ask him, "Lord, what do you want?" Then we should do what he tells us! We are also allowed to take short breaks and we do not have to deal with the storms on our own. We can wake up Jesus and ask him for help. He knows what to do with our storms! Amen.