If you’ve ever been shopping, to a fair, walked along a beach, or bushwalked with a small child, you’ll know that they collect things, be it shells, leaves, or more material things like fairy floss, showbags, drinks or popcorn.
And if you are the grown up, you will invariably end up holding those things. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve struggled with shell collections, everyone’s thongs, drink bottles, camera, knapsack and sunglasses for hours on end only to realise at some point that none of the children are carrying anything and are gaily skipping along up ahead unencumbered.
They are simply enjoying the walk or the fair, content in the knowledge that someone has all their ‘stuff’ and they don’t need to worry about it. Their hands are free to investigate other things, to reach out and touch a tree, scoop some sand or hold the hand of another. By not holding their stuff, they can do cartwheels on the beach, they can feel the velvet underside of a leaf, they can play a game at the fair. By letting someone else hold their stuff, they can be free.
It makes me think of how often I carry all my own ‘stuff’. I juggle, I drop things, I may even break something. Sometimes I get a big bag to put it all in and carry it around that way, which is easier but in the end is still heavy to carry.
And then I am reminded that we are urged by Jesus to be child-like and to not carry our burdens ourselves. We are urged to be just like our children, skipping along, relaxed and free of anything that might weigh us down, restrict our movement and make us weary.
What are you trying to carry that should be given to the One who says He will carry it for you? Why not hand it over now…and then your hands are free to reach out to another, to do a cartwheel, play a game or feel something new.
We all want to be free, right?