I can think of a few ways to understand the phrase, “Holding back.”
- Describing someone who isn’t ready for what's next– needing more time to prepare.
- Describing a competitor keeping some energy in reserve for a late burst of speed.
- Describing a person who seems to be restrained from achieving a goal.
In this week’s Bible reading from Mark 1:14-20, describing briefly Jesus’ call of the first disciples, there are a couple of instances of holding back.
Jesus was holding back.
Jesus waited until John was arrested before starting his public ministry. Either he wasn’t quite ready to begin, or he held back on starting until John (who could have become a competitor rather than a herald) was out of the picture.
The first disciples were holding back.
Simon, Andrew, James and John had taken up the family business. But when Jesus called them they immediately left and followed him. They were holding back from leaving the family business and following a rabbi because they'd never been invited by a rabbi before.
In our lives, what is holding up back?
- Is there something we’re just not ready for, but will be soon?
- Are we saving something for the right opportunity to come along?
- Do we feel restrained because of fear or because of something else?
What’s holding us back?