I have been in a position to reflect on the inescapable reality of burdens. There are many different kinds of burdens people carry. The burden of expectations is a tricky and very heavy one for many of us. The burden of family traditions. The burden of education. The burden of unfulfilled potential (my personal (least) favourite).
We might each use different language to describe what I’m calling a burden but we all have them; probably more than one. We would like to live lives free of burdens but that simply isn’t possible. Everyone has burdens . . . but.
The “but” is what makes this post something other than a depressing restatement of the obvious. But, we can choose our burdens. I don’t want to suggest it is easy to put some of the burdens we carry on the side of the road but we can. The thing we need to do is live in the reality of having burdens and carefully choosing the one(s) we want.
In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus tells us his burden is light. He doesn’t promise a burden-free life, he promises a light burden. If I may be permitted to expand somewhat, the burden Jesus gives us is tailored for us and it is something we want to carry. Our desire for it doesn’t make it weigh less than it does but it makes it easier to carry. I don’t like the idea of picking up 10 kg of weight just because it’s there, but I don’t mind picking up a grand kid who weighs as much. The weight is the same, the “burden” is the same if you like, but one is burdensome and the other is a delightful moment of closeness with someone I love that involves picking up 10 kg.
I hope you find something in the sermon to help you with the inevitable burdens we all carry, maybe even the encouragement to put down the burden you don’t want to take up the one made just for you.