A Time to Quit

I am–no doubt about it–an over achiever. I am driven. I am motivated. I am always busy, always learning, always planning. I think I might be what some people call a “Type A” personality. Usually I’m also pretty efficient, pretty optimistic, pretty excited about all that is going on. I am a glass-half-full kind of person. A make-friends-with-a-stump, kind of person. A try-try-again kind of person. A lemonade-out-of-lemons kind of person. I think I might be what some people call an “extrovert.”

But sometimes, I get tired. Sometimes I wonder if I’m just spinning my wheels. Sometimes, I get frustrated with always expecting good, and often getting less-than-good.

I wrote to a friend last week and commented that I sometimes feel like quitting. Then I wondered what I would quit? It’s not like I want to quit life. It’s not like I’m doing anything I don’t want to do. I don’t want to quit my family, quit my ministry, quit my writing, or quit my Jesus. (Maybe I do want to quit cleaning–but then again, maybe I already have! You should see my house!) As I pondered the exhaustion that had prompted me to write that phrase, I began to think about a song my friend often reminds me of by Casting Crowns, Just be held.

I think what I need to quit is the notion that I’m invaluable, that my efforts are what’s holding life together, and that it’s all up to me. Jesus said, “Take my yoke…and you will find rest for your souls.” I think what sometimes happens for me, is that I grab the yoke of service, of work, of family and run with it, plowing full-steam ahead, feeling pretty useful and pretty happy until it just gets to be too much and then I wonder why I want to quit. This poem shares some of my own thinking and growth in this area.

Take My Yoke

When the truth cuts so deep,
It cannot be embraced.
When dreams and reality,
Feel miles away.
Jesus said, “Take up my yoke.”

Not so we feel the bondage,
Of carrying what He demands.
But so we can know the freedom,
Of laying the burden in His hands.
Jesus said, “Take up my yoke.”

Even the deeper realities,
That one day will shine in our hearts,
Are part of the weight He carries,
When we cannot bare those parts.
Jesus said, “Take up my yoke.”

“For it is easy,” He promised,
“And the burden is light this way.”
I carry the brunt, you cannot take,
For it won’t be like this always.”
Jesus said, “Take up my yoke.”

Then sometime far hence,
Our way plowed by His hand,
He enlightens our mind to see,
What we once could not understand.
Jesus said, “Take up my yoke.”

What about you? Do you get weary? Do you just want to quit? Maybe it’s time you did!

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