Jesus said to the crowd, “Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. 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.”
There are lots of understandable reasons to be weary from carrying a heavy burden. There’re reasons to be weary which result from being engaged and participating in life with others which can be exhausting sometimes. But there’re also reasons to be weary which come from disengagement and uncertainty. Jesus suggests the answer isn’t to withdraw but, instead, to take on more understanding.
Weariness, in the understandable way, comes from exhaustion and loss. When we’re exhausted we’ve been active, overly active, in trying to achieve something we find desirable. The exhaustion comes from the amount of work (physical, mental, emotional) we’ve put into creating the result we long to see. The exhaustion is related to our work, or over-work, to achieve or accomplish some goal. Loss is the realization that something we desire, value, hope for, isn’t possible. It’s not just the loss of a person at death, it can be the loss of a dream, the realization that our perception of ourselves or someone we care about isn’t correct; we’ve had it wrong. It can come from the failure to achieve that goal or result we want, or we find it harder than simply what we can do for ourselves. Loss is that moment of realization when what we want isn’t possible anymore, at least on our terms.
These two expressions of weariness can lead us to two temptations to disengage, which result in a more destructive weariness. Fear and despair work in conjunction to drive us away from others, and away from life. Fear compels us inward by leading us to doubt others or ourselves. Fear uses uncertainty to create the suspicion that we should be involved at all, or we should at least be wary of any attempt at participation. Who knows what may happen and, if we take a guess, we can only assume it’ll be bad. Despair follows fear to tell us that there isn’t really a point, no hope, it’s doomed to failure. Participation and engagement are futile because nothing makes any difference and, ultimately, no one cares anyway.
Jesus offers this teaching to those willing to look to him for a relief they can’t create for themselves, or find in anyone or anything else. The relief comes from the recognition that Jesus is offering us wisdom not to be found elsewhere. Jesus places himself between us and God to give us a truth we can’t see by ourselves, and it’s open and available for everyone. Recognition becomes the key element; do we see that we’re exhausted, weary, or burdened? Are we able to share that weariness and burden, not with someone to fix it, but with someone who we can count on to be with us, to be present, as we admit our weariness? It’s not more action we need, it’s more recognition as well as the ability to admit what we, or anyone, can’t fix. Learning isn’t just about what we take it, it can also be about what we admit when we encounter truth, not as a problem to be solved, but the mystery of life we participate in with others.
Gathering Online: https://bit.ly/TCZoom
Tuesday Checkin on Zoom @ 6 pm
Join Thomas and Kelley on Zoom. This is a time to check-in or just say hello.
Sunday Liturgy of the Word on Zoom @ 6 pm
Join us on Zoom for a service of prayers and scripture.