~ In this journey called life we are all travelers; plodding along at whatever pace and along whatever path we choose. You may be dragging a suitcase or two of emotional baggage with you or you might be blessed with a lighter load. Either way, like all the rest, life's little burdens come to sit on your shoulders every day like little mini weights that seem heavy despite their size. Day in and day out we exchange our little weights with new ones while still carrying whatever emotional suitcase with us. Do you ever feel weary? Like this plodding along is useless? Fear not, we all get weary of the road and yearn to sit and rest. The good news is, we're not alone.
~ It's interesting that God compares our life as a road and that Christ said that His yoke was not a burden. If you take the time to consider this you'll find it so true. We'll use the example of two different travelers taking two different paths to illustrate the point.
~ The first traveler has chosen to be independent and carefree. Although his emotional baggage is relatively small (by chance) he pretends like it isn't there. He's tied it on to his belt so his hands will be free to do whatever he pleases but as he walks, it trips up his feet and he constantly falls. His little weights are no different than any other traveler but when they land on his shoulder he complains loudly and as he does so, they grow. So, his shoulders are slouched from the weight he has half created and his knees and legs are badly bruised from constantly falling yet he refuses any help and hangs pride around his neck like just another weight. Whenever it rains he curses the flood and whenever it is dry he curses the drought.
~ The second traveler sees his need for assistance and at some point along his path has asked for it. His emotional baggage fills two large suitcases but having acknowledged their presence and understood their impact, he asks his God to carry them for him. So, as he walks along there is Christ walking beside him happily carrying his burden. As they walk and the traveler acquires some little weights on his shoulder they converse on what should be done about them and when they conclude the traveler notices that their weight, although not their size, has decreased immensely. So even though the amount of weights are the same and they are the same size, their effectiveness at bending this traveler's shoulder is much less. At some point along his journey he stops and sits down in the middle of the road with Christ to go through his suitcases. Like someone unpacking and making sure they have everything, they take out each article and examine it and when Christ tells the traveler he doesn't need to take it with him the traveler hands it to Christ and He proceeds to chuck it as far as the east is from the west. When he desires shade or shelter he simply cries out to his God who then extends a wing of protection.
~ Each traveler had a different suitcase to carry but the little weights that landed on their shoulders every day were basically the same. The one traveler, irritated at their presence, only increased the load on his shoulders while the other traveler turned to his Savior for advice. Another difference between the travelers is their direction. The first has no map and consequently has no idea where he's going. The second is equipped with an in depth look at his path and encouragement to push forward. Each traveler will grow weary but the first has no place to turn for rest. The second has God, his Savior and the ultimate map.
~ Are you a weary traveler? Are you tired right now of all that bombards you in every day life and what you are carrying? How are you reacting to life? Like the first traveler or the second?
~ Psalm 91 "He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, 'He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.' Surely he will save you from the fowler's snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you make the Most High your dwelling - even the Lord, who is my refuge - then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread upon the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. 'Because he loves me,' says the Lord, 'I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.'"
Excerpted from More Than That, April 2004