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Immediately

January 13th, 2014 by Anthony Bosman

After existing for just two years and employing a staff of a dozen people, this last year the photo sharing site Instagram was acquired for $1 billion.

Many commentators noted that this exceeded the value of the New York Times, which has been a leading news source for over 150 years.

I see this as further evidence that I belong to an instant generation. Life happens fast and we want to be plugged into the fast-moving action around us. Thus it doesn’t take long for tiny companies that tap into this desire to outpace the established giants.

I  also witness this immediateness in my own life. It takes a whole three minutes to find a nearby restaurant on my phone, get directions, send an invite out to friends, and confirm a time to meet there. And even that seems much too long, because there’s another dozen tasks I want to get done in the next half hour. Perhaps you can relate.

Which is why I’m excited for our upcoming series on Mark’s gospel account.

Let me explain: In Mark, a word that repeatedly shows up is “immediately”. In the opening chapter alone, note its pervasiveness:

“And immediately, coming up from the water…” (Mk 1:10)

“They immediately left their nets…” (Mk 1:18)

“And immediately He called them…” (Mk 1:20)

“Then they walked into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath…” (Mk 1:21)

“Immediately after they had come out of the synagogue…” (Mk 1:29)

“…they told Him about her immediately.” (Mk 1:30)

“…immediately the fever left her.” (Mk 1:31)

“Immediately after He had spoken…” (Mk 1:42)

“…and sent him away immediately.” (Mk 1:43)

It appears in the life of Jesus, there was this immediateness which I and my generation can resonate with so much. Jesus didn’t just sit under a tree or take leisurely walks. Rather, he was moving and doing things.

And that excites me, because if Jesus understands the fast paced world that we live in today, then His example can provide some really practical guidance on how we can navigate it.

Back to the first chapter of Mark, I find one insight already from the experience of Jesus. Check it:

“Now in the morning, having risen a long while before daylight, He went out and departed to a solitary place; and there He prayed.” (Mark 1:35)

As a result of this prayer time, Jesus ends up doing something pretty counterintuitive: He decides to leave an area where people were clamoring for His attention (Mk 1:37). Apparently, that time outside of the rush allowed Jesus to refocus on his bigger mission (Mk 1:38) and continue to follow the Spirit’s leading (Mk 1:12).

Personally, I’m convinced I need to take that time too. Before I pick up my phone and check my messages, I need to take time in the morning to see God’s bigger picture for my life and to align myself with his leading.

I’m beginning to get the sense that my journey through this complicated, rushed world is wrapped up with Jesus’ journey recorded in Mark. And as we study through Mark on Cross Connection, we can make this journey together. Stay connected, for things will be happening quickly!

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