Sunday, October 05, 2008

The Carnival Ride

We've all been there, done that--- the carnival rides. There are the super duper fast-two story high- slides. The spin you in a circle, upside down, forwards and backwards until you are sick rides (I avoid those). And then there's the classic ride- the Carousel. This ride, usually decorated ornately with bright colors and cheerful music playing over head, is a family fave. There are, of course, the the horses and sleighs that either move up and down, or sit stationary as you "gallop" around and around...and around. The best part though, is waving at your friends and family every time you see them on one of the many passes. I don't really know what is so fascinating about traveling at a slow speed in a circle. But, nevertheless, people love it.

Today, I realized that my life is similar to the carousel- Okay, so maybe I'm not normally seen riding a fake horse on a mobile platform, but, I tend to follow the same pattern time after time. I get on the same horse that I at one point had left behind, and once again find myself circling around on the carousel- again. And, I'm not alone. I think many of us do this.

I've talked of this issue before- carrying our burdens. Walking around with bags of issues, troubles, sorrows, sadness, fear, pain...I could go on and on. But the point really is not WHAT the issues are, just that they are. On our backs, on our shoulders, pressing and weighting us down.

The cycle in my life is vicious in the very least. It's almost a ritual. I pray, cry, say "Lord, take my burdens." And 2 days later I pick it up again. I am, if you will, a Traveling Pack Rat. What I cannot figure out is why. Why do I choose to hold on to these burdens? Why do I choose to be burdened, stressed, nervous, scared? I think the answer is: I am human.

So this morning in church I walk in and the song playing is "I surrender." To surrender generally means to give up. If you are in a war and you surrender, you are quitting the fight. In this case I decided to surrender me. Surrender my struggles, surrender the stress of work, surrender the stress of relationships, surrender the wondering about tomorrow. Writing it now I wonder "Why in the world did it take me THIS long to do it." The answer is the same as above. I tend to be human.

Matthew 11:28-30 explains that if we surrender, or give up, those things that we are holding in our hands, we'll be given a different burden instead. Who gives up a burden to only get a new one? I do. When I know that the burden I'm getting in return is easy and light.

This will probably happen again. I'll get back on my carousel and go around 1 or 2 times. I will get frustrated, upset and confused. I'll go back to wanting to figure everything out. I'll want to know what's waiting for me tomorrow, and why things aren't going the way that I want. But hopefully next time, I'll remember sooner that God is there. And at that point, open my heart to the peace that only God can give.

But, for today, I'm gonna roll with what I've got going now, and let my heart rest in peace. And, to celebrate, I think I'm gonna take a nap.
Gotta love Sundays.

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