My wife and I have often visited the Abbey on the Scottish island of Iona. More recently our children have enjoyed the surrounding grassy spaces and the sandy beaches too. This year we went again and had fun being out and about, exploring the island. But my son, who's almost two, preferred to begin the day with a walk around the Abbey cloisters. This was not the gentle stroll that adults indulge in on their holidays, he's in a phase of picking up and carrying whatever heavy object he can find. So it could be a walking boot, or a stone and once it was a picnic bag, all packed and ready to go.
I kept thinking that in a few short years he would grow up and have all kinds of responsibilities to carry. This should be his time for running free of any burden. I mentioned this to a friend who reminded me of an old cartoon that depicts a person walking alongside God. In the picture God is carrying a rucksack, has suitcases under each arm and is pulling a trolley behind him. The person asks why God always comes with so much baggage. But God replies that the dead weight isn't his at all, it belongs to the person beside him.
Most of us come with baggage: physical, emotional and spiritual burdens are part of life and it's never so easy as some folk think to just lay them down and walk away. Sometimes we're more comfortable with them than we are with risking the change of life without them. Either way perhaps we are the sort of people Jesus was thinking of when he issued the invitation; are you tired? Burdened? Worn out? Come to me and I will give you rest.
thank you for the promise of rest
grant us today the peace we forfeit
take from us the needless pain we bear
help us to lay our burdens down in prayer: Amen