Its Friday and you can guess the kind of week it's been if I'm writing my Monday post on Friday. In the last month there have been some great changes and shifting in my vocational life and it makes me realize how much my vocation had to do with my life overall.
Letting go and holding on:
The month of July seems to be a month of great letting go. I've experienced the death of my family dog, the passing of one of my dearest spiritual mentors - Grace Connors, and the ending of my time of ministry with Westminster Presbyterian Church due to economic reasons.
Sometimes we have the choice to let go of people, work or things. This time has been composed mostly of things passing away with little choice from me. Pets get ill, elderly people reach their physical limits, and budgets - well they run out of funds. In these cases - there is not much choice I have except in how I choose to react to the massive change around me.
I've started to grasp the idea of how to cope with all this change while floating in my mother-in-laws pool the other day. I was puttering in the water after working on her yard, and slipped an inner tube around my middle and proceeded to float my worries away. My son splashed and dove in the water. Noodles and water toys all around were dashed about in the middle schooler's created waves. Although I was experiencing all the changes and waves around me, I stayed above the water line thanks to my inner tube.
There are many things that I could use as my inner tube in this changed point of life. I could eat my way through. I could drink my way through. I could sulk my way through. I could even angry my way through, but in the end all those things (food, drink, sulking and anger.) would end up sinking me deeper under the tide of change.
In the past few weeks these words in the book of Matthew are ones that I can't seem to escape. I read them in my devotional the day after getting my lay off notice. I was watching Conan late one sleepless evening and the band, Thrice played their new song, "All who are weary." Yesterday I was updating my myspace page and came across a song by Waterdeep called - "perfectly fitted."
Matthew 11:28-30 (New International Version)
28"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
The important thing for me to remember is that Jesus "yoke" is my inner tube. Just as I allow Jesus to take my burdens and pick up the one he calls me to carry, I'm not alone in the labor. A yoke is intended for two oxen to carry. Just like a team of oxen, Jesus is carrying the other end of my burden and keeping my head above water.
As I daily let go of the expectations and plans I had for my life and take up the yoke of following Jesus. I know we are actually walking side by side. I will hold on to this yoke that is around me. No matter what waves of life reach my shore, I know Jesus is there to face them with me. Jesus, be my bread, be my yoke, be my inner tube. I'm in your hands.