Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Unbearable Burdens

Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
- Jesus

After all these years, you have yet to become the change-agent you dreamed of being when you were young. Few people are gathering ‘round to soak in your wisdom (Facebook followers don’t count), and your gifts and talents have not made room for you on the stage you intended to act upon nor brought you before those whom you longed to influence.   

“I so wanted to make a difference in the world of fill-in-the-blank. Life is about making things happen, isn’t it?! Well, the only thing that has happened is that there is hole in my soul where my dreams use to reside.”

And now your days are spent doing what? Going over all the “could haves, would haves, and should haves”? Fighting feelings of anger or victimhood? Sinking into despair or indifference?

But what if the hole in your soul is actually a self-created angst?

Consider These “What ifs …”
What if life is not about making things happen? What if, instead, your daily ambition was to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, to work with your own hands, so as to be of good repute to all who know you, and to be able to take care of your own needs? (St. Paul) What then?

Rather than running around seeking to make things happen, what if your life was organized according to the words of the Old Testament prophet Micah: He has shown you what is good and what the Lord requires of you: to act justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Jesus told us that we were ”to seek first the Kingdom of God and all these things will be added to you.” Rather than grasping for what you want added to your life or seeking first your agenda, religious or otherwise, what if your primary focus was seeking after God’s reign in your heart and mind, and waiting for Him to add whatever He deemed best and most useful?  

And, finally: what if you lived your life in accordance with reality? You know what I mean. What if you played the game of life with the cards actually dealt you? Yes, yes, you had hoped for a Royal Flush and have been bluffing ever since, but what the all knowing, all wise, and loving God dealt you was two of a kind. And trust me here: those closest to you see what you were and were not dealt. You can’t hone gifts and talents that were never yours to begin with. (I’ll leave those who were dealt four of a kind but behave as if they are holding a busted hand for another post.)

The burdens Christ lays upon us are light. They are so because He gives us the grace to bear them. However, seeking to sit at the head table when we’ve not been invited, pretended callings and talents, kicking down doors God never opened, and chasing after fantasies, rather than seeking to be obedient, create unbearable burdens. They are so because He did not give them to us.

Copyright, Monte E Wilson, 2017

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