Lynna’s Journey will be posted on the 2nd and 4th Wednesday of the month this summer.
In all the chaos of this year’s winter semester, someone invited me to a week long event with Intervarsity, a university ministry, during the one week I would have before the summer semester began. Initially, I was reluctant to go, but God kept stirring up a desire to go in my heart, and all of the funds mysteriously came into place just in time, so I went.
It was fascinating. At Intervarsity, they use the manuscript method of Bible study, which I was familiar with but had never practiced very much. It’s focused on looking at repeated words and themes, contrasts, and parallel stories. At first I felt restricted by all the rules associated with using it to study with a group, but the more I used it, the more I saw the Bible from a fresh perspective. There’s so much connectivity and complexity I’ve missed, it was like reading with new eyes.
The first thing I gleaned from the experience was how frequently the word “immediately” is used in the book of Mark. I always thought this was just a stylistic choice, but the relentless repetition made me realize that this was unlikely. Instead, Mark was using it to emphasize the shift from ordinary time to a critical point in time– from the greek word Chronos to Kairos, a distinction I had heard only a little about before. Suddenly so many scenes in Mark seemed more significant.
I’ve heard fairly often about how much time Jesus spent resting, so it really shouldn’t have surprised me, but it did. Even in a book so short, so simplified, Mark didn’t neglect to mention many times that Jesus would seek out a place to rest so he could be alone with God. His ministry was important, but so was spending time away from it.
This was convicting, because I am terrible at resting. I feel like I have actually gotten worse at it this year. My one saving grace is the people in my life who get me to slow down and spend time with them, but apart from that I have not really been using my time to truly rest. It’s so hard when I’m so busy, and to be honest, I’m not really sure how I’ll be able to do it, but my determination to keep trying has strengthened. I am going to try to seek out that quiet place this year, and hopefully God will show me the way.