Unburdened in the New Year

“Burdened.”  Not a word typically linked with the first few days of the new year.  More likely we think about a fresh start, firm resolutions, or even diets. Why begin the year talking about our burdens?

The Magnificat, my handy prayer companion day in and day out, brought me these words on this first evening of the New Year: “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.” Matt.11:28-29.

I’m tired.  The first day of the New Year, and I’m tired. (OK, so last night was a long and festive night).  I could use a rest. But that’s not what this Scripture is about.

The truth finally dawned on me today–the yoke that the Lord offers us (not forces on us) is a shared yoke.  It’s His. And it comes with a promise. If we live this year in His will, walking side by side with the Lord, then we will enjoy rest.

What “burdens” us is not the “stuff” of life, but our own foolish grasp for the steering wheel—and our stubborn attempts to set our life’s GPS according to our personal whims of the moment.

The best way to live this year with fresh energy and purpose is to realign our lives, not in light of our own self-focused goals, but in line with the only goals that matter—His goals for our lives.

Got it.  Now for the hard part…

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