Monday, September 24, 2012

The Bearable Lightness of Being

Employing a crude and wildly cliche Bunyonesque metaphor, I was just talking to hubbie about our Christian burdens. Let's face it, either by our rotten, immature or culturally-driven bad decisions or by being a victim of another's rotten, immature and culturally-driven bad decisions we all carry around burdens. Even when something happens to us like genetic-related health problems that had nothing to do with decisions at all, we carry burdens around.

And the older we become the heavier they get. Why do you think we have a culture of Peter Pan wannabes? Everyone wants the freedom to fly and its hardly possible when you have a couple hundred pounds of troubles on your back. We have all we can carry and with the extreme stresses of today's America, we are all stressed out and looking for someone else we can unload on. And as the Body of Christ we should expect others to help us.
[L]ove one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor. Do not lag in zeal, be ardent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in suffering, persevere in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints; extend hospitality to strangers. Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. Rom. 12: 10-15

So, with everyone carrying more than they can possible carry (or at least it feels that way) how can we help others? Who isn't carrying enough and is calling out to us that they are able to carry some of our burdens? Any volunteers?

I want to volunteer but I'm telling you, it gets hard when I see so many and I am so weak. I might be able to handle a half-ounce more. Yeah, that's hardly helpful.

So what to do?

Get rid of your burden. Not all of us can, of course, but most of us can. How does one get rid of troubles and worries and expectations, etc? Well, the only way one can do it is through Christ. Get to confession. Get to mass and receive Christ, take advantage of the sacraments and sacramentals and live life close to Christ. He will carry your burdens for you so that you can then go out to those who have not yet been close enough to Christ to trust Him with their burdens.

As a Protestant, I learned to give my burdens to Christ, but when others needed help I pointed them to Christ. But, you know, often these people's burdens were SO enormous they blocked their vision and they couldn't see that far. They even tried, but it didn't work.

Sometimes we must be Christ to others. Sometimes some people are not close enough to Christ to trust Him and so we must be the go-between. We need to be Christ and pick up those burdens for them and then they will be able to see and more freely come to Him. (See-- the Unbearable Lightness of Being and realize that is really, for mankind, the Unbearable Heaviness of Being! Yes, yes--mixing of epistemological metaphors.)

We can't be Christ if we aren't close to Him ourselves.

If you are a Christian don't give your burdens to those who don't know Him. They are probably too overwhelmed to handle it. Seek to be so close to Christ that you can take other's burdens on yourself. Learn to lift up your troubles in such trusting sacrifice to Him, that you can, more and more, feel that peace and joy and lightness of being!

For Jesus said, "Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest." Matthew 11: 28.

Time for all who are believers to be like Bunyan's Christian and leave our burden's at the foot of the cross and go and serve others. Get close to Jesus so that we can feel His Eternal Lightness of Being... 

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