Left to ourselves, we accumulate.
We accumulate tasks and projects we feel must get done until our minutes are filled and our priorities are neglected.
We accumulate things and activities that distract us and keep us entertained or busy, but rarely centered or satisfied.
Left to ourselves, we gain weight.
We become loaded with worry, carrying problems both actual and potential, fearful of what may happen or how things might turn out.
We become bloated with work, driven by the pressure we put on ourselves, the never-ending expectations of others, and the empty promise that our career is our purpose.
That’s why God doesn’t want us left to ourselves.
We weren’t made for these heavy loads. We weren’t designed to live under these pressures.
God longs to make a trade with us, to relieve us of the burdens we keep insisting we must carry.
“Cast all your anxiety on him,” Peter instructs, “because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:7) We must do the casting, the giving up, the relenting of our compulsive accumulation.
It’s up to us to stop and see that the weight we’re gaining is clogging our living, that the things we thought would satisfy us are gradually killing us.
Jesus offers a better way.
“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
It’s not that life is always easy or that we’ll never face challenges. It’s that we don’t have to live under the weight of these difficulties or the rule of these pressures.
Dallas Willard writes in The Great Omission:
The cross-shaped yoke of Christ is after all an instrument of liberation and power to those who live in it with him and learn the meekness and lowliness of heart that brings rest to the soul. …The correct perspective is to see following Christ not only as the necessity it is, but as the fulfillment of the highest human possibilities and as life on the highest plane.
Hear Jesus’ words: “Learn from me.” And Peter’s words: “He cares for you.”
In these words we hear an invitation to, as Willard puts it, “the fulfillment of the highest human possibilities” and “life on the highest plane.”
We need to unload. God has places for us to go.