What? That isn't the part you were curious about? Oh! The part how I am trying to be like Jesus? That part? Well, I must give credit where credit is due. The getaway vacation isn't really my idea - Jesus came up with it long before I did. Seriously, I don't know why this section of scripture isn't talked about all the time. I searched the entire LDS.org and only found one reference to Jesus' vacation example. (Neal A. Maxwell's AMAZING talk: Wisdom and Order)
Let me set it up for you... In Mark, chapter 6, we read about how Jesus called the twelve Apostles, and sent them forth two-by-two to teach the gospel. They got right after it and taught repentance, cast out devils, and healed the sick - just like the Savior had instructed them. (Mark 6:7, 12-13)
Later, the Apostles and the Savior reunited, and the Apostles told Jesus about all the great things they had been able to do. (Mark 6:30) That's when Jesus had an idea:
"And he said unto them, Come ye yourselves apart into a desert (private) place, and rest for a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat." (Mark 6:31)
Private, rest, leisure? Those are vacation words. (Have you ever been so busy that you didn't have time to eat? Yep, me too.)
So they boarded a boat to go get some peace and quiet, but the people figured out where they were headed, and beat them there. And there were a lot of them. Thousands. But Christ, true to His nature, felt compassion on the crowds and began to teach them.
The Apostles saw their vacation going down the drain, and approached the Savior and said "This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed. Send them away...for they have nothing to eat." (Mark 6:35-36)
But Christ was merciful and performed a mighty miracle: He fed the five thousand men, not to mention the women and children.
Back to the vacation: He then told the Apostles to get back in the boat and cross over to a different place, while He took care of sending the people back to their homes.
Christ then went up the mountain for some of His own private time, but from the mountain He could see that the Apostles were in trouble - they were struggling, the wind was blowing in the wrong direction, and by now it was after 3:00 in the morning. (I've had vacations like that.) Finally, Jesus walked out on the water to help them. The winds ceased when he entered the boat.
When they got to the shore, the crowds returned, and it was back to business. Neither the Savior nor His Apostles got their much needed break. Thankfully, someone thought to record these miraculous thing. We often hear about the feeding of the 5,00, and Christ's walking on the water - but we never hear it in the context of what they were trying to do at the time.
Christ knew His ministry would be short, but He also knew his brand new Apostles. After all the things they had quickly experienced, I imagine that having a little time to rest, process, and be taught would have been of tremendous value.
It also reminds me of a story that was told about Joseph Smith and the importance of taking a break now and then:
That Joseph Smith liked to pull sticks, wrestle, play baseball, swim, and hunt is generally well known. William Allred, who played ball with Joseph many times, recalled an instance when someone criticized the Prophet for indulging in play. To answer the criticism Joseph told a parable about a prophet and a hunter—clearly explaining his own philosophy about the relationship of play to work. As the story goes, a certain prophet sat under a tree “amusing himself in some way.” Along came a hunter and reproved him. The prophet asked the hunter if he always kept his hunting bow strung up. “Oh no,” said he.
“Because it would lose its elasticity.”
“It is just so with my mind,” stated the prophet; “I do not want it strung up all the time.” (Ensign: Joesph Smith & Nauvoo’s Youth).”So both the Savior and Joseph Smith understood the importance of taking a break. Not only is it OK, it is good for the mind and the soul. And tomorrow, I will write about how it is good for the marriage.
Start planning! What would Jesus do?