Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Water Mule

This summer, my grocery shopping habits changed. The refrigerator in the apartment was small and a little cabinet served as the pantry. Everything I used to prepare meals had to fit in a bag I toted or in a cart I wheeled. I bought only what I needed for a day or two and what I could comfortably carry.

One afternoon, I walked up 3rd Avenue to a drugstore where bottled water was on sale. The ballerinas took lots of water with them every day and we couldn't fill their reusable water bottles at the apartment because the water there was cloudy. I bought three cases of water. Two easily fit in my shopping cart (not the lovely one pictured, but a servicable one nonetheless). The third . . . not so well. I managed to get it in, but the canvas top wouldn't completely close.

Feeling quite satisfied with my purchase and the bargain it represented, I wheeled my cart out the door just as rain began to fall. I pulled my purse strap across my body, pushed the button to open my umbrella, took a deep breath, and began walking. Uphill. In the rain. Pulling a cart with three cases of water.

Did we need water? Yes. Did we need three cases of water? Yes, but not that day. One would have been enough. Two at the most. Certainly not three.

You see, I made my burden heavier than it needed to be. I took what was a good and necessary thing and made it an overwhelming thing. The burden I carried that day was greater than the burden I needed to carry.

Jesus tells us that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Being yoked to Him means I can't run ahead or lag behind Him. He sets the pace, balances the load, and gives rest. Oh, how I need that today.

“Come to me, all you who labor and are burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am meek and humble of heart; and you will find rest for yourselves. For my yoke is easy, and my burden light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

The basket photo is from I know nothing about the company, I just like the wicker trolley. The water photo is from where I buy too many groceries at once, load them into my SUV, and store them in my pantry!

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