The most important message I picked up from today’s readings overall is Lay down your burdens.
My primary take-away from each of the passages was this:
- Genesis 21 & 22 – God always fulfills his promises if we remain faithful and don’t lose hope.
- Matthew 11 – God asks us to lay down the burdens we put on ourselves and rest in his mercy.
- Psalms 11 – When I am feeling injured, abused, or forsaken, I can take comfort in knowing that God sees me and knows everything I am going through. I am not alone and my persecutors willl not escape God’s justice.
- Proverbs 11 – We should be upright and honest in all of our dealings, and use the resources God has given us wisely.
Hello. My name is Ceilon and I’m a workaholic.
I work longer hours and have more projects going on at any given time than anyone I know. I do not wear this as a badge of honor. I see it as a sort of sickness. I am the living embodiment of the Protestant work ethic: “If I work hard enough bad things won’t happen to me.”
But that’s not true, is it? Bad things do occasionally happen to me. Bad things occasionally happen to everyone. No amount of work will stave off the human condition.
Additionally, I was raised to be an approval suck. My father and extended family appreciated all of my work and talents if they were applied to their benefit, and I was richly praised for my efforts…as long as I was working hard. This is a pathology in my personality that I have worked hard to purge for many years, but I just can’t shake it. When I’m not working I feel guilty, lazy, and I get depressed. So I work.
But those aren’t the only burdens I carry around. I carry the burdens of mistakes I’ve made, people I’ve hurt, failures, grief, and the usual knapsack of human baggage.
So do you. We all do, and that baggage weighs us down so much that we have a hard time experiencing joy. We end up thinking we need to earn joy, mercy, and God’s blessing.
We don’t. All we have to do is lay it down. Easier said than done, but Jesus wouldn’t have told us to do it if it weren’t possible.
So lay it down. Look up. Breathe easy.
That’s what I got out of it. What did you get out of the readings today?
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