In the morning, while it was still very dark, Jesus got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed, and Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” (Mark 1:35 – 37).
In our connected society, the growth of the internet has created entire industries that never existed until even five years ago.
One of my favourite new career choices is called being an “Influencer,” a career entirely based around a celebrity’s consumer preferences online.
As an “Influencer,” a young, attractive and popular celebrity comments on a product that they like, and their fans and followers go out and buy it.
Due to the exponential power of the internet, the company stands to profit from positive reviews posted by celebrities. They also stand to lose if they receive a negative review, so you can begin to see where the rewards are for the “Influencer” who persuades the multitude.
In this passage from Mark, the crowds have followed Simon Peter and his companions searching for spiritual healing.
Peter and the others, are hunting for Jesus, and Jesus has withdrawn to the wilderness in a prayerful quest for intimate prayer with the spirit of God.
Just like a modern day influencer, the crowd follows Simon Peter, who follows Jesus, who searches for unity with God in the wilderness, the private and intimate spaces in our lives.
How can you find that private wilderness moment in your day and commune with God in private? Commit to scheduling some alone time with God today, where you can reflect on God’s love for you and for the people you care about. You’ll be glad you did. Here’s a prayer that could open that conversation in the Wilderness of your own private thoughts:
A Wilderness Prayer:
God of the wilderness, I praise you for the wilderness places in my life. As I seek you in private, I know that I will experience the reassurance of your Holy Spirit in my prayerful time with you. God, help me to know you are with me in the wilderness places in my life and help me to feel your comfort, your presence, and your love. Thank you for your quiet and loving presence in my life. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.
Revised Common Lectionary Year B, Fifth Sunday after the Epiphany: