We spent last week in Monterey, California at “Car Week”. A gentleman I was chatting with described it as, “Adult Disneyland for car addicts.” I love that. And yes, I stand convicted.
A week of non-stop car activities all over the Monterey Peninsula.
On Thursday morning, standing on Ocean Avenue in Carmel, I talked with the owner of a rare mid-thirties Austro Daimler. He was showing his car on Sunday in the prestigious Pebble Beach Concourse d’ELegance. He enthusiastically told me the life story of his treasure and how he had lovingly restored it.
On Friday afternoon in Pacific Grove I chatted with owners of less expensive cars yet ones just as meticulously cared for.
Then at the hotel on Saturday evening, as a group sat on the front porch, I talked with a man who was visiting in his Ferrari. He spoke of his Aston Martin at home and Lamborgini on order. He seemed neither to know much about any of them or ever to have personally worked on them. It seemed simply like a never ending attempt to fill up some restlessness.
For others that restlessness may take the form of incessant shopping. Or frenetically pursuing a career. Or obsession in the gym with trying to retain the last vestiges of youth. Nope, not much hope there.
And frankly, just because I can get on top of it, doesn’t mean I don’t sometimes find myself insidiously slipping back into that endless pursuit.
Yet, the problem is? It’s never enough is it? I mean that darn happiness stays just out of reach.
That’s why when Jesus promised his peace he points to the antidote.
“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”*
Now, I’ll grant you, that seems a little less than inviting. But let’s think about this.
He says his yoke is easy.
Now you might be thinking, “Wait a minute. I’m not yoked to anybody or anything and I’m not starting now.”
Yet, in reality, those obsessions we each have control us don’t they?
So Jesus in contrast says his is easy. Literally it fits us perfectly. So it’s enjoyable. In fact, far more enjoyable than the obsessions that so mercilessly drive us at times.
And it leads to the amazing life Jesus promises.
So instead of feeling harsh it just feels right.
Then he says his burden is light.
I’ll tell you, endlessly pursuing anything to find happiness wears you out. I know, I’ve been there.
Even religion, when chased relentlessly to qualify for God’s blessings.
So when he says his burden is light he means it. Because it’s literally free. We live in a relationship with Jesus that results in his amazing life simply by his grace. And we can’t earn anymore of God’s blessings by our slavish devotion than the one who simply comes to him and asks.
Now that’s a light burden. In fact it’s no burden.
When we’re tired of the rat-race we truly can step out and find real happiness.
What about you? How have you discovered this?
Please let me know on Facebook, Twitter or email me.
*Matthew 11: 30 (NIV)