I remember the first time I came across the phrase "learn to live freely and lightly." It caught my attention and connected with my soul. It's found in The Message translation of the bible.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. Matthew 11:28-30 (italics mine)
Several phrases marinated in my mind: "recover your life," "unforced rhythms of grace," and especially, "learn to live freely and lightly."
I had a lot of experience of living the opposite of "freely and lightly." Carrying heavy loads of grief, pain, and shame. The weight of other people's expectations for me and my own unrealistic expectations for myself. Living with an overwhelmed schedule, trying to do too much. The sense that I would never be enough, do enough, have enough. And more.
That's a heavy load. So the idea of learning to live freely and lightly captured my heart.
It's been a journey, this learning a new way, a lighter way. I've failed miserably at times. I've made progress here and there. But I do know the direction I am headed and that's so very important. We have to start there, with the knowing what we want. What our soul aches for.
This theme has become a major one in my speaking ministry. I tend to share and teach what I most struggle with. The things that have been the hardest. The situations that have taught me the most.
I invite you to journey with me. I hope to encourage you with the lessons I have learned and am still learning. To share with you the hope I have staked my life upon. To comfort you with the comfort I have received.
I also know I will learn even more through this process of sharing my life and hearing your heart and learning from you.
As Michael Card sings in one of his songs, "There is a joy in the journey. There's a light we can love on the way. There is a wonder and wildness to life. And freedom for those who obey."
We're all on a journey. None of us has arrived, at least not while we walk this earth. But one day we will be home, and home for good. Until then, let's be there for one another, cheering each other on.
In what ways are you feeling burdened and heavy-laden? Can you trust that Jesus has another way for you? A lighter way for you?