The joke is that Minnesota has two seasons: winter and road construction. Well, we are well into road construction time here while the snow still melts.
There’s a big highway overpass project just down the road from us. Heavy equipment that’s taller than the trees. Trucks that look like they can haul 50 tons of stuff. And the dirt. Oh my, the dirt. And the cement. Lots of it.
Driving by it the other day (using the annoying detour, of course), I said to Steve, “I’m so glad I’m not in charge of that project.”
A short time later we wove around the tar-carrying trucks that are filling the 3-feet deep potholes that have really turned into one large rut. And again, “I’m so glad I’m not in charge of that project.”
I mean, really. There is nothing inside me that would remotely indicate that I could even consider getting to the place where I’d be in charge of those projects. Don’t have those skills. Talent. Desire. You might as well ask me to run from here to Nebraska in 4 hours. Just won’t happen.
And yet, somewhere deep inside a scary part of my brain, I’m celebrating that I’m not in charge of them. Good grief.
Here’s what I think …
My instinct is to fix. Solve. Make better. Control.
Especially when it comes to situations affecting people I care about. I want to make everything better immediately. So, I try. And that creates an Ooftah! situation. Because I can’t.
This morning I thought about my immediate and most natural reaction to those projects. And my desire and unfortunate need to try and control and be in charge of fixing the tough stuff.
When I try to take control of and fix situations that are clearly not something I should be in charge of? What I’m really inferring is, “I’ve got this one, God.”
Really. How ridiculous and sad is that.
I think Matthew from the Bible knew that I’d one day be thinking about those big overpass projects and the aches in my friends’ hearts. So, he wrote me this little note in the 11th chapter of his book:
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, 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.”
That sounds good, doesn’t it? Rest. Easy. Light.
But here’s what I remembered as I re-read that note this morning …
I’m still wearing a yoke.
It doesn’t mean that I’m off the hook for doing anything.
I’m exchanging the yoke of pulling and struggling and being in charge and digging my heels in to get the situation to where I want it to go …
To wearing Jesus’ yoke which will guide me to the very best place of peace. Of following what He wants. Of resting in His care while He shows me what I can do in the situation.
I give up being in charge and trying to fix everything and surrender all of it to HIM. That’s when I find rest.
My friend Oswald (AKA Oswald Chambers who wrote “My Utmost for His Highest” – I call him Oswald because I just think that’s fun) …
My friend Oswald says this about those verses *:
“…I will get you out of bed, out of the languor and exhaustion, out of the state of being half dead while you are alive; I will imbue you with the spirit of life, and you will be stayed by the perfection of vital activity.”
LOVE THAT! Oswald clearly has a more direct tone than Matthew. I love his words, “…the state of being half dead while you are alive … imbue you with the spirit of life … the perfection of vital activity.”
Thanks be to God that I am not in charge of the overpass or pothole projects.
Thanks be to God that I am not in charge of fixing anyone’s problems.
Thanks be to God that I can live fully before I’m dead.
Thanks be to God that I can surrender my cares and burden to JESUS….
And take HIS yoke and let HIM guide me and give me rest. (While He takes care of those problems in His divine way.)
* My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, June 11th essay