Signposts: Daily Devotions

Sunday, March 6

When they found Jesus, they said to him, “"Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.”
—Mark 1:37-38

Jesus was not an overachiever, and sometimes I think if Jesus came to "save" anyone in particular, it was those of us who ARE overachievers, perfectionists, and workaholics.

This scene in Mark's gospel comes immediately after Jesus has finished a very long day of teaching and healing one Sabbath in Capernaum, a small village on the Sea of Galilee. Jesus has become very popular with the common people, and they follow him in increasing numbers, clamoring to be around him. His reputation and he seems destined for great things. At least that is how the disciples see it.

Early one morning, while it is still dark, Jesus gets up and goes to a deserted place to pray. In the midst of his prayers, some of the disciples come running to him, interrupt his quiet time, and say excitedly, "Everyone's looking for you!" To them, that is great news, but to Jesus it's all he needs to move on. He came to spread the gospel, not to become a star.

The gospel, the good news, is that God created us and formed us and loves us for who we are, not for what we do. We cannot be who God created us to be when we are caught up in success and applause, even when it is for good things. It is a hard lesson, but we have the best teacher in the world as our model and guide.

Dear God, it is so hard to let go of the idea that we must be successful. But help us, through the example of Jesus, to do just that. Amen.

These Signposts originally appeared on explorefaith in 2006.