“Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed.”

Mark 1:35

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: the whole ritual takes place about three to four times a week on average. I wake up for ROTC physical training around 4:30 am and I get back home, normally sweaty and ready to lie down for a few minutes. Once home, I usually take a shower, change clothes, grab something to eat, and then get ready for whatever the day has ahead.

However, there are certain days that this ritualistic procedure changes. There are days that I am led–yes, something beyond me leads me–to reflection and meditation. Now, by meditation I don’t refer to some systematic introspection process. However, I do enter a state of reflection in which I take a look at my life through the eyes of God, the eyes of divine wisdom and true enlightenment. It is on days like these that I am led to conviction on multiple levels and truly understand what human humility and the love and grace of God are all about.

It’s extremely hard to find times of true peace and quiet in our busy days, weeks, and months. A person can go on for weeks and months (some even years) without a moment of reflection, clarity, and introspection– without a moment to look at one’s self and be honest with ourselves about who we are and the decisions we have made. Sadly, this is not just an aspect of modern and postmodern life but an issue deep down at the core of humanity. This is the very reason why I say that I am led to moments of reflection because I believe that if it were left to me, I wouldn’t choose to seek God and His peace.

The solitary place of prayer.

I remember that passage in Scripture in which Jesus is led to a solitary place to pray. I think it is interesting when we look at the verses right before how Jesus is incredibly busy healing people here and there. He even heals Peter’s mother-in-law. Right before this, Jesus had been teaching at the synagogue when a demon-possessed man confronts him and Jesus drives the evil spirit out of him. Jesus spent the entire day bringing not only the Good News of the Kingdom of God to the people but also bringing Kingdom justice by healing the sick and liberating the oppressed.

However, I find it beautiful how the very next day we see Jesus waking up while it was still dark to pray. It’s a beautiful picture because we see Jesus without the disciples and for once we get a glimpse into the personal character of Christ beyond the crowds and all the liberating of demons and healing. It’s a beautiful picture of the Savior Man and God admitting His submission before God the Father and humbling Himself through prayer–knowing it is only by the power of the Holy Spirit and the will of God the Father that He is able to carry out His mission.

I am led to be transformed.

This morning is a lot like those other mornings I described above. I am being led to clarity, reflection, meditation, and refocus. I pray that the outcome of this may be a deeper understanding of who I am, my mistakes, my failures, my sin, my shortcomings, the times I have failed and hurt others, my need for God and His beautiful grace. I pray I may understand my need to love more, to care more, to give more of myself to my fellow brothers in Christ, to respect more, to be more compassionate, to be more understanding, to be more passionate for the lives of others, to be more passionate about the Kingdom, to realize my God-initiated desire to be closer to and more like my Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ.

The truth of it all.

And the truth of it all is that we need moments like these. Moments of reflection, prayer, and clarity are God’s gift to our chaos-centered world. Life makes so much sense once I sink into and come forth from such moments. If Jesus, in all His Glory and Power, sought such moments to pray and humble before God, how much more do we, in our daily sin and failures, need to run away with God every so often?

——

It is 8:21am. I look outside the window of the living room and notice the powerful beams of light bursting through: a sign that the day has begun and the sun is in its full splendor. As I move towards finishing this post that, I pray, comes as a blessing to you, I realize the magnanimity of the tasks before me. However, I fear not nor tremble before them. In my heart I find peace, comfort, and love from the Divine. I know, I am certain, that God is with me at every single moment of every single day. He is always there waiting to be engaged by us–waiting for us to humble ourselves and realize our need for Him at all times. At that point we will be led into the solitary place, a spiritual place, where we are to be transformed. As I step into the world, I am certain that I am led by the beautiful and loving hand of our Lord.

Be blessed.

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