28Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, 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.” Matthew 11:28-30
I was speaking recently with one of our parishioners who has his grandchildren visiting for a couple of weeks this summer. He was telling me about how his granddaughter is writing these elaborate and creative stories completely off of the top of her head! We both were wondering how it is that kids can be so creative and imaginative and free with their thoughts. Then, later in the afternoon, it occurred to me that we were asking the wrong question; we should be asking, “what is it that happens between childhood and adulthood that stifles that creativity?” It’s as if becoming an adult in our culture just takes that creative imagination and stomps it out with all the limitations and rules of society!
Our culture develops at a rapid pace – so much so that we often get caught up in the messages being thrown our way and feel that we have to keep up. I’m guilty of this when it comes to technology and the newest gadgets! I love them! But what I forget is that in the process of learning the latest technological tools to communicate or get online – that I am slowly becoming a slave to them. How many of us can remember 10 years ago when having a cell phone was a novelty and not even a thought for most people? Now we feel as if we have to be available to everyone at all times!
We are victims of our own creation. We all take part in creating the burden that we carry. We tend to focus on the limitations that life puts on us (or that we put on ourselves) and we forget the simplicity of childhood and the wonder of having the mind of a child. In our world of restrictions, rules, boundaries and limitations, it’s a refreshing message to hear Jesus, opening his arms to us to say, “You are welcome here. Lay your burden down and find rest. True, simple, restorative rest. For it is not as difficult as you have made it out to be – but rather – as with the freedom of childhood imagination, it is simple. Welcome.”