In recent days have been acting like that removal man who believed he was being clever by carrying all the clothes from a wardrobe inside the wardrobe. You know, to save everyone the weight.
I have been asking God to carry me (this is normal, and makes a huge difference in my day when I remember to do it). I have not, however, been asking God to carry all the weight of life for me. I kept hold of much of it. Carrying all the things. You know, because someone has to.
The more I considered this, the more I realised how foolish I have been.
God is carrying it all anyway.
Why not ask God to carry my burdens, as well as myself?
Life is complex and rich and messy. It takes me days even to list all the things I am working on. (Days more to plan how to tackle the many tabs which spring open in my head). Trying to solve, resolve, own and appreciate every one of them is genuinely impossible.
Having chatted it over with a wise person, I now have a new daily schedule. It involves a rhythm to my day which develops routines I have already put in place and carves firmer boundaries for better self-discipline.
There are so many areas of life which demand attention at one time or another: children, friends, food, schools, church, reading, writing, social media, admin, housework, fitness, the dog, rest times. But I cannot carry more than one at a time. Some are hard, or emotive, or tedious. There are times I’m not even sure I can carry one all that well.
So I will let go. God’s got them. They’re not going anywhere. In his strength, beating in time with the unforced rhythms of his grace, I will tackle the ones I can as I can. One task at a time only, for 45 minutes. Forgetting the rest of it I choose to trust God to direct me, focus me and use my energy.
The process may need tweaking, but it is better I give this a go than to flounder and drown in the sea of worries and tasks. There was no way I was going to be able to continue to carry so much without sinking. The tides come and go. The waves rise and retreat. The rhythms which work now are not the rhythms which worked for me twenty years ago. In this season of life, I was not designed to carry as much as I thought I should. I was designed to let God carry me and lead me.
There are times when God leads me to rest, times when he leads me to be with others, times when he leads me to do the trivial everyday things and times when he leads me to work.
In his Message translation of Matthew 11, Eugene Peterson came up with an inspired way of explaining what it means to walk in step with God. Jesus says to a group of people:
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Are you carrying too much? Finding life doesn’t fit right? Just wanting to live more freely and lightly? Don’t be like the guy carrying clothes he didn’t need to carry. There’s a better way, and a better rhythm.