Monday, May 2, 2011
Sometimes Spring can be a pain. This year, for instance, up here in the Northwoods, Winter has had a choke-hold on Spring, releasing itself at times just enough to bring Spring to her knees, gasping for life. But the promise remains … and we look toward nicer days. May we never forget that God’s promises remain, too. His blessings of peace and joy as we worship and serve Him are never-ending.
ETERNAL PERSPECTIVES by Sally Bair
Burdens Made Light
While hiking down a mountain, a grouse startled me, causing me to trip and lose my balance. Catching myself, I ran down, my heavy backpack ready to push me headfirst onto the ground. I finally managed to slow and then stop, but not without hard huffing and puffing. I laugh now thinking about what a sight I must have been, but at the moment of difficult descent, I struggled mightily.
The experience caused me to start carrying less weight on the trail. That’s a hard lesson for many of us. We tend to over-burden ourselves with non-essentials. Think about it. We collect stuff, hoard stuff, cling to stuff that is simply fluff. Yes, I know that some stuff—even fluff stuff—is necessary for living a comfortable life. But the more we collect, the more time it takes to file it, clean it, protect it, think about it. The list of things we collect is endless: clothing, appliances, household items, collectibles, vehicles, even our fun toys.
Perhaps we all need to stop and consider our limitations. Some of us are stronger than others and can carry heavier loads. Most of us, however, carry more than we need. Like my hike down the mountain, this can lead to a life of imbalance, a loss of vision for the beauty around us, and a breathless exertion that is unnecessary and unproductive.
Happily, our current economic situation has caused many people to pare down on their possessions. Living a simpler life, one with fewer encumbrances, has become the mantra for a growing number of us. Like mountain hikers, we’re packing less stuff, making our lives easier, freer, more satisfying.
Jesus ministered on earth without a bed on which to lay His head. His was the perfect example of an unencumbered, fulfilling life as God meant it. He doesn’t necessarily want us to go to His extremes, but His example does show us that He wants us to count on His help in carrying our burdens. He is more than able to supply all our needs.
Jesus said, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)
Lord, help us trust that You will meet all our needs so we won’t be tempted to overpack. Teach us what is necessary and what is non-essential to our lives as we travel Your path up and down the mountains of life. In Jesus’ name, amen.