‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’
Burned Out and Reconnecting
I was raised in a devout Catholic home and schooled in Catholic schools for twelve years. My church, school and home life were guided by a strong presence of Catholic doctrine. My childhood vision of God was a heavenly deity whose church enforced lots of rules.
The rules of the Church often had me feeling inadequate and unworthy of God’s love. Oftentimes I “sinned” without having any knowledge that what I did was a sin. One Lenten Friday, when I wasn’t supposed to eat meat, I came home from school and heated up a can of Campbell’s Chicken Noodle Soup. My mother saw me eating it and questioned me asking, “Why are you eating meat on Friday?” I replied that it wasn’t meat, only chicken soup! I felt guilty that entire Lenten period and, in young adulthood, abandoned my faith. I often referred to myself as a “burned-out Catholic”. I felt no connection to God because I could never meet what I perceived as His standards.
While reading Matthew 11:28-30 from The Message, I found that what it had to say was very meaningful in my reconnection with God.
“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me – watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
Trusting God, and seeking comfort in God, has lightened my life and made it better in so many ways. Is it always easy to let go? No, it’s not, and I am not one to let go easily. But I keep working at it. And I know God is with me.
Prayer: Wonderful God, help me to let go of those things that burden me and keep me from walking with you. Help me walk those unforced rhythms of grace.
By Monica Stern