When my wife and I built our home a few years ago, we made sure it included a screened-in back porch. It has ample room for my grill, a sitting area, and a dining area. It is decorated with whimsical birds, turtles, frogs and even ants! The brightly colored furniture and cascading water feature add a sense of serenity and cheer. Early mornings and late evenings you can often find us there enjoying the gentle breeze and being inspired by the sights and sounds of various birds and occasionally a rabbit or two. The simple beauty of the surrounding flowers and trees seems to offer a temporary escape from the busyness of life while enjoying a cup of coffee or some refreshing iced tea.
My wife and I also enjoy traveling. We especially enjoy time at the beach or the mountains with no specific agenda; being away from many of the pressures of everyday life. While those opportunities to get away are limited, having a “place” to go to unwind, relax and to meditate are essential to one’s well-being. Therefore, we have attempted to create our own “back porch” environment where we can readily go to rest and refocus.
Jesus understood this concept evidenced by the passage we read in Mark 6:30-32;
The apostles returned to Jesus from their ministry tour and told him all they had done and taught. Then Jesus said, ”Let’s go off by ourselves to a quiet place and rest awhile.” He said this because there were so many people coming and going that Jesus and his disciples didn’t even have time to eat. So they left by boat for a quiet place where they could be alone.
There it is! Busyness, even in doing good things, can wear us out physically, spiritually, emotionally and even relationally. Taking some time to rest and refocus was endorsed by Jesus himself. So as I sit here on my back porch composing this article, I think I’m going to take another of Jesus’ suggestions to get on a boat to a faraway place and book us a cruise!
Psalm 116:7 Return to your rest my soul, for the Lord has been good to you.