One day a few weeks back, I noticed a man walking around my neighborhood with a HUGE backpack on his back and a big walking stick. We don’t live near a campground and there aren’t any mountains to head up anywhere, so it was definitely out of place. Over the next few days, I noticed others out on the walking paths with the same get-ups and got a little concerned.
So, I logged on to my trusty neighborhood Facebook page and, sure enough, there were other people who had notice the same thing. Some folks wondered if they were wanderers, looking for a ride somewhere. Others speculated that they might be homeless. Then some wise person piped up to let us know that these folks were in training! Training for a big hiking trip of sorts and they needed to get their bodies used to the weight of the backpacks and how their pace and gait would change under these more intense circumstances.
We were all relieved that we didn’t have a new influx of transients coming into the ‘hood, but it got me to thinking about the process of training.
Often times in life, we find ourselves in really heavy circumstances – an illness, a lost job, a divorce, a child with an addiction – we never know what life is going to throw at us. These are extremely heavy weights that we carry around emotionally through our day. We wake up with the weight, do life with the weight, and lie down at night with the weight. And some days the weight is unbearable.
But thinking about these guys trekking around my neighborhood with their heavy backpacks made me realize that our emotional weight is also training. God’s training us for something bigger – teaching us to rely on Him. God is teaching us that this weight doesn’t have to be carried alone. In fact, He has a HUGE backpack just waiting for us to yell UNCLE so he can take our weight off our shoulders. He is teaching us that, through a relationship with HIM, we don’t need to work quite so hard in our training. Doesn’t that sound amazing?
I bet these guys in my neighborhood would LOVE it if someone would offer to carry their packs. How much lighter would they feel if they weren’t weighed down? How much more joy would they have? How much easier would it be to climb that hill or mountain? How much more would they enjoy the journey? How much more energy would they have when they reached the summit?
God wants us to hand over our pack. Today. His hand is out and ready to take it. Right now. All we have to do is trust that He will truly carry the load and knows the way to the summit. Because when you arrive, there is a great joy and light waiting for you.
If you are struggling with the weight of something in your life and don’t know how to let go of that pack, I would love to meet with you. We can work together to bring more lightness and joy to your season of struggle. As always, I’m here when you need me.