Come Away with Me
The work culture in Singapore is famously intense. Running up the escalators, eating lunch at one’s desk, even working late into the evening are all a characteristic part of life for many young adults who are new in the work force. Some of us may even feel as though we live in constant bondage to an ever saturated calendar.
In considering this human condition, French Philosopher Albert Camus wrote, “In order to understand the world, one has to turn away from it on occasion." Obviously Camus wasn’t the originator of the concept of stepping away from the daily obligations of life for a time of solitude and personal reflection. He was simply acknowledging a God-thought: we all need a sabbath.
The word ‘holiday’ comes from the mouth of God. In Exodus 20:8 He said, “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.” When we come away from our earthly labour to rest, refresh and reflect on Him, we are taking a holy day (or ‘holiday’). Jesus saw the need for this in his own ministry. Luke recalled that He, “would often withdraw to a desolate place to pray” (Luke 5:16). He seemed to be fully aware of the human tendency to push ourselves to the point of exhaustion, and so reminds us that God has made the sabbath—not to weigh us down with religious obligation—but to give us opportunity to ‘hit the pause button’, to mute the discordant noise of daily life, and to re-center our hearts in Him. And so in Mark 6:31 Jesus said to his disciples, “‘Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.”
This weekend almost sixty of our young adults will be responding to this exhortation of Christ. They will be separating themselves from the grind of daily life and gathering in Johor Bahru to quiet their hearts and seek the life-giving counsel of God. Let us celebrate that God has gifted us with young people who long for God’s pleasure and seek Him so passionately! And let us covenant together, to pray for the organizing team, for Pastor Eugene and Wen Pin as they share, and for each of the participants, that they may discover the joy of holiness and be resolved to allow that joy to daily inform their work, their life and their service to Christ.
For the rest of us, we will again have opportunity to celebrate our holiday together at CHS. Let us also prepare our hearts to celebrate God’s grace and goodness, and to respond to His Word! Let us prepare to come away and rest for a while!