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Saturday, October 10, 2015

Here, hold this....

One of the things I most wanted, and many times still want, was for someone to be able to help me carry the burden. The burden of knowing I have cancer, my kidneys have failed, my need for dialysis, the fact that my life was forever changed. These things take a toll on me; and they never go away. Part of getting through this was learning to bear this burden. It's something I never wanted to carry, never imagined I'd need to.

I wanted help, and I receive help, but ultimately the burden is mine.

People rally around, and provide a lot of support. I get support from our local cancer support group. I get support from my family, friends, and church. But each of us has to bear his own burden.

One of my favorite movies has this scene at the beginning that illustrates burden, how we cling to things from the past (or material things), and ultimately how it can be disposed of. You have to watch more of the movie to really get it. Here we have a man risking everything to carry that burden up the falls. To us, on the outside, it seems simple: just drop it, why are you carrying all that "stuff"? But for him it's unavoidable, he must cling to all that stuff of his former life. Out of the blue a would-be victim cuts that burden free. And you can see the result, his reconciliation. It's that kind of relief I seek, but who can cut the ropes I have, and how?
Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Matthew 11:28

Looking back, some of my old burdens have been cut loose. My priorities have been changed: some shifted, some old ones lost, some new ones gained. I think these changes are all for the better. The reduction in my physical abilities can only be helped so much. What's left is part of the burden. I only have so much strength, so carrying something like this leaves less room for other "stuff". For example, things that are petty or self-important people just have no place to ride on me any more. My tolerance for these things used to be low, but now it's almost non-existent. The difference now is that rather than being angered or annoyed by these things, I just don't consider them any more. These things don't matter, so I'm not carrying them, nor am I worrying about them. I only carry the things of real importance to me, love for my family, my faith. And these things are light.

Burden like mine is impossible to just put down. You can't take a weekend off from it. No matter where you go, it is also there. Seems like with time, though, the burden gets lighter. I think as we learn to accept it, as we define it and carry it, we get stronger. We see the burden for what it is; it is lighter than it was, and we're stronger than we were. It just becomes part of us, and I hope eventually I can walk around without noticing it. I can just put it down and move on, or just carry that part of it which must be carried.

So, as I struggle up my own waterfall, I ever hope to find those places to sit, rest, and consider; leaving the old, worn-out burdens behind to wash and fall down behind. I am starting off again, ever upward.

1 comment:

  1. Philippians 4:4-13
    Hope these words will bring some measure of comfort, joy and strength.