Thursday. Augusta, GA. The burden of the day, the burden of the moment, is always the heaviest burden.
I’m presently in Augusta; however, I’m not at the golf course — instead, “the boys” (Jack and Rob) are using the Masters tickets while I’m accomplishing some important tax-related tasks (which will become burdens if not taken care of…!) and looking over a beautiful backyard, complete with black-capped chickadees, Eastern bluebirds, purple finches, just to name a few of the birds I’ve seen as I sit at the computer.
When my children were very young, there were occasions when I found myself among others who had walked further down the parenting road than where I was at the time. Invariably they would say things like, “Just wait! You think it’s hard now, but you haven’t seen anything yet!” Now, saying that to a mother of young children, a woman who is generally always bone-tired, dragging around with toddlers in tow, sleep-deprived, thinking “if I can just hang in there until they are a bit older, it will then be easier!” — only to be informed that thinking that way is futile, because these moments which seem so trying are actually the easiest it will ever be…. well, that’s just cruel! But, they always tell you this, those older moms. Those wiser, “been-there, done-that” types. I guess now that my kids are “grown” — I’ve definitely crossed over to the older mom status, and I admit that when your kids are very young, not talking back yet, just constantly demanding of your time and attention, perhaps that’s really not the hardest part of parenting. But, I DO remember being a young mother, tired, and not appreciating the “words of wisdom” from those much more experienced women who shook their heads as if to say, “you just don’t have a clue…” You see, the burden of the moment is the biggest burden.
Not long ago a friend mentioned that she hated to burden me with an issue that was going on with her, as I guess she felt it paled in comparison with the rocky road of cancer treatment we’ve recently traveled. But, this same principle comes into play — the burdens we feel are real, not trivial. And, the burdens our friends feel are real to them — not trivial by a long shot. It doesn’t matter the scope, it’s still a trial to navigate. Those of us who are on the other side of cancer treatment know it’s a journey like none other. It’s always life and death stuff. It pulls the courage out of you that you never knew you had. It drives you to your knees in a way that makes you realize you never knew how much you needed divine intervention until then. But, it doesn’t change how much you care. It doesn’t cause you to stop caring about less “serious” issues, and it doesn’t cause you to stop caring about your friends and their lives. If anything, the journey might make you more empathetic. For sure, it makes you realize how much you appreciate friends and the support they provide just by being your friend. Reciprocating that friendship is such a privilege! And, in those moments when you just don’t have any strength left, God provides the strength needed for just one more day. Strength and empathy — I hope I’ve come through the journey having gained a little more of each.
Matthew 11: 28-29 Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.