While I feel like a total hypocrite, I know that many Christians struggle with keeping a consistent quiet time with God. It’s just–I’ve been on this journey for 20 years! Literally, this month will be 20 years that I gave my heart to Jesus because I knew I couldn’t do life on my own. I totally screwed up–over and over.
So now, as I work on becoming a better me, I’m taking one thing at a time, 1 month at a time, beginning with the most important habit to acquire–resting completely in the arms of Jesus. Which is sort of ironic, because the scripture I chose to begin is Matthew 11:28-30.
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.
I need this verse right now. Weary and burdened describe my soul at present. I find myself a teacher without a position, in a town where teachers are a multitude, with a school pumping new ones out every spring, and most in my field seem to be male coaches, who are hired for their coaching expertise rather than their teaching ability (or so it seems). I find myself in a job I tolerate, but have little passion for, while the metaphorical gates have opened for any available teaching positions that may be left, now the school year is over.
I do not hate my life, but I understand why patience is a virtue. I feel the heavy weight of impossibility on my shoulders. I am bereft of gratefulness and I float between the ideas that God will take care of me and doing it myself because I want it so bad.
I am weary. The practice of actually taking on Jesus’ burden is much easier to say or read than the reality of it. But as I looked up “yoke” to better understand it, I find it means “a device for joining together a pair of draft animals, especially oxen, usually consisting of a crosspiece with two bow-shaped pieces, each enclosing the head of an animal.” So to take on Jesus’ yoke means that I am not necessarily exchanging my yoke for his, but rather that we are yoked together. Perhaps similar to the “Footsteps” story of how the one step of footsteps shows that Jesus carried the person through the troubled times. To me it means so much more that Jesus would be yoked to me to help me carry my burden, making it lighter. And, of course, this makes complete sense because I am a control freak and prefer to “do it myself” than let anyone help me.
So today I will practice being yoked to Jesus. I will practice being humble and gentle, and let him steer me in the right direction. It certainly can’t be much worse than where I am right now.