Finding Our Balance

“Come to me and I will give you rest-all of you who work so hard beneath a heavy yoke.  Wear my yoke–for it fits perfectly–and let me teach you; for I am gentle and humble, and you shall find rest for your souls; for I give you only light burdens.”  Matt 11:28-30

So many people in our culture feel stressed out, burned out and under constant time pressure.  Many of us consistently rob ourselves of sleep in order to get more done.  We set goals, establish priorities, yet constantly have our priorities interrupted by things beyond our control, and we live with continuous frustration and guilt over the things we didn’t get done.  What does Jesus mean by this quote?  What does it mean that His yoke fits perfectly, and that He gives us only light burdens?

Lets face it, we live in a culture of comparison and competition, and the one who does the most is judged the best.  We also evaluate achievement as success, and one of the marks of success is income level, but also recognition, and applause.  Awards, promotions and publicity also indicate we are good and valuable.  Even our children’s achievements are, in our minds, a reflection of our own goodness and success.  We are very much molded by this culture whose definition of human value is what we do, how much we do, and how much money and publicity we get for what we do.  We have a carefully constructed image to uphold, which includes our perfect family, and our perfect home.  We tie up our worth as a person in this image.

What if Jesus light burden turns all that upside down?  What if Jesus instructions to us about His priorities include living one day at a time, doing the good that is set before us by our location and circumstances, and talking to Him hourly about what He wants to show us and assign us?  He plainly didn’t care about money as long as we had the necessities.  He plainly didn’t care about the long list of “shoulds” His own culture placed upon people.  He didn’t care about appearances, but valued what was in the heart.  People came before schedules, and He often stopped what He was doing–even praying, to care for a need that arose.  He was supremely spontaneous.  He rested when needed, and made sure His disciples rested too.  He put a high priority on prayer.  But when reading the gospels in great long gulps, you begin to notice things about how Jesus was living.  He was never in a hurry.  He didn’t live by the clock or the calendar.  He tended to needs, including His own, but His definition of need varied from that of the surrounding culture.  Even in a simpler culture like the Jewish Culture of 30 AD, people were concerned with how they looked, how much money they had, their future security, their spiritual standing and so on.

What if we looked at our calendar and organizer and asked:  “Jesus, how much of this do You value?”  “How much of this am I putting on myself?”  “How much do I really need to do here?”  “What is most important from Your perspective?”  “What if I prioritize according to Your directions and not misplaced guilt?”  “If I put you first, will you take care of my needs?”  “You already said you would.”  We hear about people who almost died from a health issue totally re-make their lives.  They must change things according to different values if they are to live longer and not die of stress related illness.  Why wait till it comes to that?

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One Response to “Finding Our Balance”

  1. jbevers2016 Says:

    Wow, it’s funny how you decided on this topic not knowing about the week I had…lol. Thanks, I needed to hear that!!

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