Read Matthew 11:28-30
28-30 “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.” (THE MESSAGE)
Most of us have lived long enough to know that following Jesus is no picnic. It involves serious effort, setbacks, battling against powerful opposition. Jesus himself tells us that we can expect trouble along the way. Taking up one’s cross is no easy matter.
But he also says things like the above statement. He suggests that perhaps we can make it harder than it need be. We take on loads and burdens that are not ours to bear. We undertake things that we have not been asked by him to do. Jesus says that what he asks us to do will fit us in a certain way. It might be difficult but we will know his help and companionship in doing it.
Whereas if we merely do all the things that others expect us to do or that we feel we must do in order to satisfy our own muddled inner voices, then we will experience much fatigue. Discipleship will become merely hard work. Jesus didn’t have it easy, but because he did only what the Father wished him to do, his efforts bore fruit.
Let’s not immerse ourselves in frantic and possibly fruitless activity. Let’s instead discern more and more what is necessary and what is not. Or to put it another way, we need to be able to say a genuine ‘no’ to some things in order to say a genuine ‘yes’ to other things.