Burdens: A Meditation

I have a bad relationship with my own capacity. I’m the type of person who is interested in a lot of things, cares about a lot of causes, and in general try to keep far too many plates spinning in the air at the same time.  Yet, I keep adding one more thing. There’s always that one more thing I know I can help with, that one other group I have some ideas for, and the one other ministry that really needs volunteers.

Then the plates start crashing.

In the midst of the struggle to keep the plates going, I start to ignore things. More precisely, I start to ignore people. I stop listening to what’s going on in people’s lives, I stop looking for ways I can be good news to the people around me. I stop making myself available for connection. How can I? I’m connected to all these other things, I simply don’t have the capacity.

Most problematically, I start to ignore God. My schedule is so tight, that I put my time of prayer, scripture reading and worship in more untenable slots. I’m so busy doing things, that I don’t have any attention that I can give to hearing God in the everyday.

The burden I’ve taken upon myself has become so much that I am unable to properly love God and love people.

I don’t know if you are like me in this way. But if you are, here are three passages that you can read and pray through. As you do so, consider the following questions

  • Are there specific burdens in your life that hold you back from God and others?
  • Are there ways that you are being called to show love to God and to the people around you that you are avoiding because they are burdensome?
  • Are there ways that you can give up your self-generated burdens, and find rest in God?

Hebrews 12

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, 2 fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Galatians 6

1 Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted. 2 Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

Matthew 11

28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 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.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”