Lay your burdens down

Dearly Beloved,
Grace and Peace to you.

Sometimes as I wake up and face the morning, I don’t feel hope or anticipation. I feel a weight on me—not a great, crushing burden, just a little load, enough to weigh my spirit down. It’s usually the weight of something unpleasant coming, some duty or obligation, some sense of something I ought to do, something between me and joy. Maybe it’s a big responsibility at work, or maybe it’s just a household chore. Or guilt over something that I messed up. Maybe it’s loneliness. Maybe it’s fear that this is not going to be a brilliant day. Maybe it’s a vague sense that I need to prove myself, or that my life ought to be somehow different, and that that difference is a long way off. It’s a heavy feeling, a binding-up, discouraging feeling.

That’s when I sit down and come back to the present moment. I disregard all those thoughts about the future or some other existence, and simply be aware of myself sitting in this room, breathing, alive, created by God, and a delight to God. I direct my attention to God’s presence. I don’t expect to feel it, but I let my deep awareness go beyond my feelings. I become aware that God is lovingly present, embracing me and dwelling within me. And in that presence I lay my burdens down. I lay down my fears and expectations, my thoughts and feelings, all of it. I lay down the burden of my despair, the burden of the rest of the day, the burden of upholding who I am. I simply be, here and now, and let God be with me. In this moment, in this breath, there is only God.

And when after a time I go, I leave my burdens down by that riverside. I leave them. And God goes with me, from this present moment into the next—free, beloved, and light. Although sometimes I have to stop again and lay my burdens down once more and enter the joy and freedom of the present moment, the blessing of God’s presence. That’s the pilgrimage: not to carry your treasure to some far off destination; but to lay your burdens down and leave them and walk in the grace of God. That’s the most beautiful journey of all.

Deep Blessings,
Pastor Steve

Steve Garnaas-Holmes
Unfolding Light

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