Following Jesus: Rise and Shine!


February 10, 2021

Mark 1:35-37 (NIV)

Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Simon and his companions went to look for him, and when they found him, they exclaimed: “Everyone is looking for you!”


Most of my days begin with me thinking, “Everyone is looking for me!” From my four children and their complex lives to my email to text messages to Facebook messenger to my leftover list from yesterday and the day before that. I wake up thinking, “Everyone needs something from me.”

Do you know the only person really looking for me every morning?


Jesus woke up every morning knowing only one person was looking for him—his Father. He knew everyone and their mother-in-law was after him too, but he knew he must get to the meeting with Father first and foremost. 

If I’m honest, and you know I try to keep it real out here on the Daily Text, more days than not I let myself get pulled into the swirl of the many things, which the Bible translates as, “Everyone is looking for you!” 

Why do I do this? I’ve been asking myself, and even better, inquiring of the Lord. 

Here’s what I think he’s showing me. I’ll put my understanding in first person—him to me. 

“John David, you still think this morning meeting with me is a spiritual practice. It’s not practice. This is the game. This is not like practicing meditation or yoga or even the way you tend to think about ‘spiritual disciplines’ or even having a ‘quiet time.’ This is a meeting with me. I am discipling you. We sit together in silence. I bring my Word into your mind and you contemplate it in your heart, storing it up like treasure so it will be available in the field as needed—bread for the eating, seed for the sowing.

I breathe my Spirit into the lungs of your spirit day by day expanding your capacity for me to indwell you all the time. I put thoughts in your mind and impressions in your spirit. In this meeting, John David, you behold me and I bless you. You pour out yourself and all your insecurities, and I fill you with my life, and all my provisions. When you miss this meeting, it’s not like you skipped practice. You missed the game.

If there’s one thing you need to understand, it is that you just can’t miss meetings with me. There is just too much at stake for you and for all the people who are looking for me to show up through you in their lives every day. Our meeting every day—it’s not practice. It’s the game.” 

Very early in the morning,

I’m not sure there is any other way, really. Doesn’t matter if you are a so-called “rooster” or “owl.” The meeting is very early in the morning. And in case there was any confusion, we get this added bit:

while it was still dark,

Why do we need to know these little details? Because we are following Jesus. If he gets up before dark, we get up before dark. It will probably mean going to bed earlier. To be clear, I am not a morning person. I do have an early meeting every day with Jesus—when I don’t give in to everyone else. 

Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place,

Why are we given such specificity here? Somehow I think it matters. Jesus didn’t go to his cozy overstuffed Jesus chair. He went outside. Why? I don’t know. I’m wrestling with it still. 

Am I taking this too literally? Maybe so. Maybe not. I want to take it seriously. I want to err on the side of literally following Jesus. 

I’m definitely more of an inside person and not so much of a solitary place person. Truth be told, I could probably use a bit of a pattern interruption. It will be cold but I’ll let you know how it goes.


Almighty God—Father, Son and Holy Spirit—my Lord Jesus Christ, I am not a morning person, not an outside person, not a solitary place person, and yet I want to be a Jesus person. What if I started there and just followed you for the rest of the way? I would love to meet with you every single morning very early, even before dark, outside if necessary, and even in a solitary place. Sort this out for me. I don’t want to miss the meeting. Thank you for wanting to meet with me. That is incredible, Jesus. I pray in your name, Amen. 


What are you making of this? Are you challenged? Perturbed? I can take it.

For the Awakening,
J.D. Walt


Three invitations here: 1. Reserve your complimentary ticket for A Night with New Room: Ash Wednesday. 2. Check out the 2021 Awakening Calendar. 3. Grab a songbook for Soundtrack

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WHAT IS THIS? Wake-Up Call is a daily encouragement to shake off the slumber of our busy lives and turn our eyes toward Jesus. Each morning our community gathers around a Scripture, a reflection, a prayer, and a few short questions, inviting us to reorient our lives around the love of Jesus that transforms our hearts, homes, churches, and cities.

Comments and Discussion

4 Responses

  1. In my opinion the details about the timing, the location and the fact that it was a solitary place were given to show that Jesus needed to spend time alone with the Father, without the possibility of being interrupted. This house was probably not very large so outside provided the needed privacy. We all need somehow to replicate the purpose of this type of encounter with the Father on a daily basis.

  2. Outside puts you in “God’s house”; not “my house”. After a particularly trying time in my life that required me to spend a lot of time in a house where a life was coming unraveled in a big way, I found myself spending a lot of time on our deck under the tree, breathing in God’s clean air. In fact, during that trying time, when we returned home, I would walk in the front door and almost immediately head out the back door to the deck. There were other people involved and it turned out that I was not the only one who went home and headed to their deck. I think both of us needed to know that there was something much larger going on than the darkness of that house we were dealing with. For a long time afterwards, the deck was where I went with my Bible in the mornings.

  3. I have no excuse-for I live alone-I have no excuses- for I am retired- I have no excuse other than my flesh often rules. To my regreat!

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