Summary: There Are Times When We Need to Steal Away and Spend Personal Time With God to be Refreshed.

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Rev. Wayne A. Lawson, M.Min

Senior Pastor

First Baptist Church

Ardmore, OK

Preached Sunday, February 20, 2005

(Inspired by a commentary by Rev. Robert E. Houston, Sr.)

Scripture: St. Mark 1:35-38 - 35 And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed. 36 And Simon and they that were with him followed after him. 37 And when they had found him, they said unto him, All men seek for thee. 38 And he said unto them, Let us go into the next towns, that I may preach there also: for therefore came I forth.

Title: Time Out

I want to leave a few nuggets for our young people today as we celebrate our Annual Youth Day this morning and culminate with a special program at the 3:00 p.m. hour. I encourage you to stay with me this morning for I will not be very long. If you Zone Out or take a Mental Vacation for a minute or two you might miss the key points. You do need to understand there is a Word from Heaven. I have a simple message that if you digest it - you can carry it all the days of your life. I want to share with you a simple message that is entitled “Time Out.” Not only will this message be beneficial to our young people, but I would venture to say that many of our saintly Adults would benefit and perfect their walk with the Lord as well.

This message is also beneficial, as we have moved forward into this Lent season. Lent is a season where we are challenged to take a Time Out. It is the period of forty days before Easter that symbolize the 40 days that Jesus took some quality time to reflect on who God intended Him to be and to face and deal with the dark side of life, that we all are forced to face. You recall how Jesus set out on that long journey through the wilderness being led by the Spirit of God. He faced the dark sides of life, and parts of life where some people may feel that God has no business entering. It is there that we will find Jesus. It was during this period that Jesus dealt and faced directly the Temptations of Humanity. In the wilderness, Jesus reflected upon the human predicament and how the human life should integrate with the life of God. Immediately after this Time out – this 40-day rest in the wilderness He would face tremendous temptation by the devil. In this hurry up society in which we live, most of us feel that we don’t have the luxury to take a 40-day time out with God and reflect upon our lives – Who We Are - Where We Have Been - Where We Are Going. To be honest it can be very intimating for us to ask God – Who Am I? - What Is The Calling Upon My Life? - Where Do You Want Me To Go?

We need to learn how to value the importance of a Time Out in our lives. Last month I spent some time watching the Australian Open. I was watching some of my favorite players such as Andy Roddick, Andre Aggassi, The Williams Sisters. I was disappointed when Venus Williams lost in the latter rounds, I really wanted to see her return to form and win a championship. It was good to see Venus little sister Serena make it to the championship round. The sisters have experienced many injuries the past few years because of that they relinquished their #1 and #2 rankings, although they are still ranked very high in the world. Serena who was ranked #7 in the world was matched in the championship game with Lindsey Davenport who was ranked #1. I sat in front of the “big screen” and prepared myself to watch what I hoped would be a great match between two quality players. Of course I was expecting that Serena would win and return to form. As the match began, it quickly became apparent that Serena was suffering with another injury and was not moving with her normal agility. Serena quickly dropped the first set – she lost it 2-6. She had to turn the second set around or the match would be over.

Serena Williams looked down and out in the first set where she had been Twice Broken. It was at this point when she looked defeated that she did something very interesting. Here at this point, where even the commentators were beginning to count her out. Here at this point, when Lindsey Davenport seemed to have all the momentum swinging her - Lindsey was ready to get this over with. Serena looking somewhat defeated looked at the Judge and she called a Time Out. She would return to the court and not attempt to dig out of the hole, she conceded the first set and lost it 2-6 – but after this time out she would go on to win 10 of the last 11 games and win the second set 6-3 and the final set 6-0 defeating the #1 seed Lindsey Davenport and Serena would once again become the Austrian Open Champion. Let me cut through the alley here so I can get back to the street - You need to understand that Serena did not call a Time Out, just to take a break. But something significant happened during that call. Serena’s trainer ministered to her during the break. The trainer rubbed Serena’s back and helped her do some stretching exercises to loosen the tension. From there the trainer took Serena into the locker room and continued to minister to her back that was causing her Discomfort. Serena would run back out to the court, handled her business and ultimately became the Champion – after losing the first miserably. Well what are you trying to say preacher? I stopped by to let you know this morning that we need to learn the value of calling for a time out when things don’t look too good in our situation. It is only when we have sense enough to call time out:

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