Yesterday, I came home from work a little early. I just simply could not. do. it. any. longer. Total exhaustion. I wandered around the house aimlessly, in a fog. While trying to get my younger boys ready for the Cub Scouts Pack meeting, I mumbled my words…or couldn’t find words altogether…they got lost somewhere in my head and I couldn’t get them out of my mouth. “C’mon boys! Put on the…you know…the thing. That…whatever it’s called…” I faded quickly at Cub Scouts especially after the sun started going down…and I started getting cold. I. was. done. I cashed it in early. I simply fell asleep.
This morning, I felt somewhat refreshed. I’m at about 75% capacity. It takes a while to recover from the soul crushing experience that is a week of general surgery call. I ended up taking an extra night call shift in the middle of it so I could have a day off later in the month to attend an important conference. By Sunday morning…I’d worked well past the ’80-hour-work-week’ we promise our residents. And all this coming off of our Disney
vacation trip where we walked and walked and walked and stayed up late and…well, you know, Disneyed. It’s amazing, but relaxing isn’t quite the word for it. So when I sat down for my devotions this morning, slowly emerging from my two week delirium, I was looking forward to a nice, regular day. Maybe get in a run. Maybe make a nice dinner tonight. Sip a glass of wine and enjoy the novel I have slowly been digesting. But by mid morning, my partner texted to say he needs to trade calls and could I please take his trauma call tonight. My body went limp. I don’t know if I can do this…
I am starting a new series today after completing the Live Justly study last week (more to come on that…changed my life). I read Matthew 11:28-30 (The VOICE): “28 Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Put My yoke upon your shoulders—it might appear heavy at first, but it is perfectly fitted to your curves. Learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble of heart. When you are yoked to Me, your weary souls will find rest. 30 For My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.” Weary? Check. Burdened? Check. Feeling yoked? Check. We’ve got school projects to do; research to work on; soccer games to go to; lunches to pack; bedrooms to clean; calls to make, bills to pay, email to catch up on. Weary? Yeah, Jesus. I’m more than weary, ok? So what is this yoke that you are talking about anyway? What burden could be so light? I am busy over here!!!
And that’s the problem. I am too busy to even listen to His command. I am too busy to even notice that Jesus never asked me to be this “busy”. His command, his yoke, his burden is simple, really. In fact, it’s just one beautiful sentence. His one command. John 15:12 (The VOICE) “My commandment to you is this: love others as I have loved you.” That’s it. Not write more, read more, do more. Not clean more, talk more, run more. Love. He said, love other people like I love you. Now sometimes that love will mean doing things for others, but when we do things for love, not for pride or self-satisfaction or accomplishment or to cross off the list, then our perspective is totally changed. It’s not that I suddenly won’t have anything to do, it’s that Jesus’ command isn’t a burden because my motive is different.
Jesus’ yoke may not be less work or fewer hours or easier calls or shorter lines at Disney. But the burden, the weariness of my soul, the emotional fatigue…it’s not so heavy, so daunting or so pointless. When the yoke is tied to love, the burden is mitigated.
I held my breath for just one second. I texted my partner back, “Let me talk to my husband.” And I reminded myself of what I read just this morning. My yoke is not about my convenience, my plans, my ideas. My yoke is simply love. My partner needed mercy. He needed a break more than I did tonight. For reasons that are more significant than my mild fatigue, I needed to show some humble love. So we traded calls. And as I ran home to grab a change of clothes, my glasses, and some snacks, it dawned on me that this call trade will allow me the ability to go to my daughter’s soccer tournament this weekend. And to make the haircut appointment I’m in desperate need of. When love is the motive…it’s really no burden at all.Disclaimer: My viewpoints are not necessarily reflective of my employer, or any local, regional or national organization that I belong to. As a matter of fact, I pretty much just speak for myself. Please keep that in mind.