“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. 29 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. 30 Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Matt 11:28-30 (MSG)
I get the impression from watching some Christ-followers that being in relationship with Jesus is a difficult ordeal. Seems like they struggle and stumble as the live life. I find that troubling. When you read the scriptures it seems to indicate that following Jesus while it won’t be easy shouldn’t be burdensome either.
I seems to me that the reason living the Christian life is difficult for some folks is because they are trying to follow Jesus without and engaging relationship with Jesus. That has to make it hard.
When I was a boy and my dad assigned work for us to do around the place, it was always ‘easier’ when he worked with me. When we worked side-by-side; I wasn’t bored, I wasn’t confused as to what to do, I had a rhythm to pace myself by. It was his rhythm. I always enjoyed working with my dad. I often didn’t like the work, but doing it with him made the work somewhat easier.
About 15 years ago I took my oldest son Cole on his first backpacking trip. It was dark on the Rainbow Trail that traversed the Sangre De Christo Mountains in Colorado. Six year old Cole followed close behind me. After 2-3 miles he started to lag behind. I had to slow down. So I grabbed a little stick for him to hold on to one end and me to hold the other—I chose one that would fit his little hand, that was not too heavy for his spindly arms, one that fit just right— then we started to sing the only song that he and I both knew: Father Abraham. Before we knew it we were at the Lone Tree Meadow where we planned to set up camp and fish in the beaver ponds. Time flew as we sang, laughed and marched in the dark along that trail. The ‘work’ of the walk was easier with the singing. It was because we were doing it together. We were ‘yoked’ together and it wasn’t about being heavy. It was about trust. It was about being together. It was dark, and it was hard, and it was cold…but he wasn’t alone.
We are all burden-bearers in this life. That is the way of things. When you became a Christ-follower that did not change. There is much about this life that is dark, cold, tedious and a little frightening. But if you ‘take His tailor-made yoke’ you will discover what a little boy learned a long time ago…
The work of the walk is easier with the singing.