In the early hours of the morning, my wife and I were asleep. Our baby, my daughter began to cry. She was wet and hungry. I usually got up with her, changed her, and took her to my wife who would then feed her. Then I’d take her out to the living room and rock her, in the Kennedy rocker, until she went back to sleep. This had been our routine for a while and it worked pretty well for us.
This one night, I had a lot on my mind. We were moving to another state soon, I had to find a new job, the kids needed new schools. The movers were coming out that morning to estimate our load for the move. There were a hundred things swirling in my mind that had to be done. I was overwhelmed.
I continued to rock my daughter and lightly sing worship songs and pray. I was reminded of a scripture passage that dealt directly with carrying a heavy burden. There is so much more to this passage, but I’ll share these verses.
Matthew 11:28-30 (NLT) 28 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.”
A yoke is a crosspiece that fastened over the necks of two animals, back then, likely oxen or camels. These are beasts of burden. They were used to plow fields and perform other tasks.
Typically, the animals were matched in strength and size. What Jesus is saying to us in this passage is He will help carry our burden, and we will find rest for our souls. That is exactly what I needed to hear.
Don’t miss the point here. Jesus doesn’t say he’ll take the burden away; He says he’ll help us carry it. This is very important to understand. Many people give up on the Lord when their prayers are not answered or their burden isn’t taken away.
This is what happened for me early that morning, my burden, the load on my shoulders was still there. I still had all the same things on my list that needed to be done in a fairly short timeframe.
My circumstances didn’t change; what changed was my attitude, my mindset, toward fulfilling all the tasks facing me.
On any given day, I’m walking around with several hundred milligrams of legit meds in me. Most of which are really bad. The bottles have neat boldly colored little stickers on them that encourage me to do or not to do certain things while under the influence of them. And, even though I must take some of these at the same time, I just blow off the boldly colored displayed warnings.
On any given weekday, between 6:00 and 4:00, I’m likely in my cubicle, the breakroom, or outside the building somewhere; but mostly in my cubicle. If I’m in my cubicle, I’m either cutting up with the people in the other cubicles or actually working.
When I’m actually working, I’m either reading about, writing about, or testing software. My company is the 3rd largest software company of its kind in the U.S. Most recently I rewrote our online help manual. It is the help that come up when you hit F1, or click for help on a particular topic. There are currently more than 220 topics.
Today I was called into my director’s office along with my supervisor. My director reminded me that a short while back I sent him an email requesting the position above mine. I hit it hard with all the things I had accomplished in my current position and why the job should be mine already. To make a short story shorter, I got the position as of today.
This is what I want you to take away from this story, I take hundreds of mgs of medication (Lamictal, Effexor, Zyprexa, Klonopin and others) every day for bipolar 1 disorder, major depression, general and social anxiety. Some nights I barely sleep.
Photo taken by contributor Don, a man in his fifties from the Western North Carolina Mountains. Throughout his teens and twenties spikes of grandeur, depression, and anxiety were the norm, although back then no one used those terms, at least not in his small town. He struggled throughout his twenties. Don continued to be plagued by episodes of mania and depression, […]
The pastor was talking about marriage in his sermon. He glanced to his wife sitting in the front row, stage-right, if I remember correctly. I could see her face from where I was sitting. He made mention of God giving him such a beautiful wife. I looked over. She was stunning. One of the most gorgeous women I had known.
I had worked with his wife on many projects. I was an Elder in the church. I had worked with many of the men and women in the church.
The sermon ended and the piano began to play softly. The Pastor requested that I pray, releasing the service. I prayed.
The Pastor generally stood in the vestibule and shook people’s hands as they left the building. The sermon was great, yeah yeah yeah blah blah blah. The same thing each week from the same people. During this ceremonious departure, his wife came to join the line with her toddler in tow.
See my wife: I remembered? By now she was dealing with the toddler. She was wearing a white low-neck dress. At just the right time I looked and her perfect “______” were in perfect view. I turned quickly. No, I didn’t. I could not take my eyes off her. Did I mention, she was perfect. With the dress – _____ combination I saw everything, everything. She glanced up to my eyes and smiled. She knew what I was doing, but even more so, she knew what she was doing.
I felt like I was set up. I was speechless.
That day I learned at least three things. The Pastor was prideful, his wife was a seductress, and I was weak and lustful.
Here’s the thing, satan doesn’t care about the benchwarmers, or the spectators; he cares about the players. He cares about the ones who truly love the Lord, they’re dangerous to his plans and will attempt to bring them (you, me) down anyway he can.
James 4:7 (NIV-WS) 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
when I look at my wordpress statistics page, it’s not the numbers that I care about so much, as the flags of viewers from all over the world, at first, i think and i am humbled. then i think to myself have i written anything of value, anything worth sharing with the world?
and, then i think to myself, i have nothing of value, no special words to say, no thoughts of wisdom to share locally or beyond. these days all I can boast is that i am still alive. is this of value, i think not.
i am only a simple man in his 50’s just trying to live and get through another day, i really don’t know why. is tomorrow better than today? it hasn’t been true.
my accomplishments prior to yesterday have no value. most people don’t care what you’ve done, they care what you do, and even more so they care about what you can do for them.
it no longer matters that i competed in national races, or broke records in sales at the local and regional levels. it doesn’t matter that my family used to attend church on sundays and sat down at a table together for meals, without mass media, we shared about the day’s experiences. it doesn’t matter that i worked my ass off to provide for my family all those years.
no, nothing really matters.
I’ll leave you with the words of the philosopher, Freddie Mercury as he sings the last four lines of a song:
Nothing really matters, anyone can see
Nothing really matters
Nothing really matters to me
Any way the wind blows
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” written by
Freddie Mercury – Queen