Our Life...

Our Life...
...summed up in one photo.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Luggage and a Toddler

I'm "cheating" a little today and using a story I wrote a few years ago. I revised it a bit to share earlier this week and thought I would share it here too.

I had just returned from an amazing week-end retreat, I put my bags by the bottom of the steps to be taken upstairs on the next trip.  One of the bags was a small rectangular rolling bag.  My son, Hudson who was almost 19 months at the time, decided he was going to try to pull it around the house.  The bag was HEAVY, still filled with the evidence of my failed attempt at packing light for the 2 day trip J...and almost as big as he was!   As he tried to drag it, it nearly knocked him down before I intervened and put it away, so he didn’t hurt himself. As I was taking it upstairs, I thought it was so silly this little boy would think he could drag around such a heavy load. 

The next morning, I brought the empty bag back downstairs to go into a storage closet.  Apparently I had forgotten that Hudson was so drawn to it.  So, of course, he went right to it and started to try to pull it around.  Although it was lighter, it was still too big and awkward for this little guy.  He would fall, cry and then get right back up and try to drag it along behind him with a new sense of determination.  He bumped into the wall and came running to me to kiss his head...and then he went right back to try to pull it again, as if forgetting what had just happened.  I watched as he tried to figure out a way to drag it around - forward, backward, even bending down and trying to pick it up and not even use the wheels. If his brother or sister came near to help he would do his best toddler "NOOO!!!"  "MIIIIINE!!!!!" And not let them help him.  My well meaning daughter, always wanting to be the helper, even got close to him and tried to explain the best way to carry it - but of course he didn't listen. Or if he was listening, he didn’t understand how to follow her directions.  Finally, exhausted with his attempts he sat down for a while, but still held on tightly to the handle.
Immediately, the following verses came to mind: 

Matthew 11:28-30
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 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. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Psalm 55:22
Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you; He shall never permit the righteous to be moved.

My son is not unlike his mother.  Trying to bear burdens that exhaust, frustrate, and irritate her - things she’s not equipped to carry alone.  Running to God often, asking Him to make me feel better, but too often not willing to let go and accept His generous offer to, "Come".  "I can do it Lord...I need to do it...these are my burdens to take care of". And so I return to try to figure out a new way to balance it all – when the answer is simply, “Come”.  Or at times my pride has caused me to think, I’ve made a mess of things, I can’t just ask for forgiveness, I’ve got to fix it.”  And still the call is , “Come”.

The word used for weary in that verse refers to those who have become weary through heavy struggling or toil, while the word for burdened is more the passive side, those who are overloaded-have had huge burdens placed on them. So, it really doesn’t matter why we’re worn out. Whether it’s from our own doing or the things that have been piled on us…the invitation is the same – a gentle, “come”.

“Come, all you who are thirsty,
come to the waters;
and you who have no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without cost.
2 Why spend money on what is not bread,
and your labor on what does not satisfy?
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good,
and you will delight in the richest of fare.
3 Give ear and come to me;
listen, that you may live.

6 Seek the LORD while he may be found;
call on him while he is near.
7 Let the wicked forsake their ways
and the unrighteous their thoughts.
Let them turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on them,
and to our God, for he will freely pardon.

Isaiah 55:1-3, 6-7 (NIV)

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