It would be so easy just to dump and run.
To come to Jesus, unload all the things I’ve been carrying, the burdens that I think weigh me down so much, and then vigorously wipe my hands on the seat of my pants, shake the dust from my hair, and with a flick and a spin, prance off towards the horizon lighter, freer, and happier.
“Thank Jesus! Really appreciate it! See you next time when it all gets too much and I just can’t handle it anymore. Maybe Thursday, four o’clock? Sound great – bye!”
Yes, it would be easy…but only until it becomes much, much harder.
Jesus told His disciples to come to Him with their burdens, to seek Him when they were exhausted and weary. He promised rest, and not just for their bodies but for their souls. That undefinable, fragile part of us. The anchor of our hope.
Then He tosses out a phrase that seems completely out of place:
“Let me teach you.”
What do I need to learn?
All I need is to unstrap these weights and lighten things up and head on my way. Teach? Learn? Naw, just let me loosen these buckles here and slip these straps off and…yup…aaaahhh! Much better! <wipes sweat from brow and sighs deeply>
Learning something implies change.
It alludes to a lack of knowledge or a gap in understanding.
Teaching means I must be teachable, admitting I might not know and that there might be another way.
If I treat Jesus as just an unloading zone, just a place to find some relief, just a stop-over along this journey called life, I may find rest for awhile and things might seem better for a bit.
Until it happens again.
Until I find myself choosing those same habit patterns, those same thought cycles, those same harmful relationship rhythms that
Why do I tumble headlong into the very thing that caused me so much pain, the route that weighed me down so heavily, if I had just unloaded all of my baggage from that exact same trip?
Have I learned nothing?
No, I haven’t. Which is exactly what Jesus is saying.
“Let me teach you.”
Learning His ways means changing mine.
Listening to His teaching means quieting all the “You deserve this!”, “No one ever appreciates you!”, and “They were going to hurt you anyways!” that echo in the deepest parts of me.
Coming to Jesus is not touch-and-go.
It’s stay and wait. He is humble and gentle. I am proud and pushy. His way is easy and light. My way is muck and mire.
I don’t want to dump and run.
I want to pause.
To admit I don’t know how to do it better and I need another way.
The path before me may look a lot like the path behind me.
What I carry with me? I’m still learning.