I’ve talked before about the differences between my faith and Christianity. It is a way of verbalizing not only the differences between the two, but to explain the struggle I have carried in moving from a Christian worldview into one that speaks to me more deeply. Dealing with the burdens of stress and life-changing decisions is one of those things I’ve struggled with; and as this year comes to a close and our focus and attentions turn to gearing up for a move, it is a struggle that I am currently wrestling with.
You see, Christianity teaches that the greatest thing we can do is lay our burdens down and turn them over to God. Give up those struggles and the illusion that we have control of our own lives. That sounds fabulous – let go and let God; if it’s meant to be, it will be; all those phrases I’ve heard hundreds of times and will every time I log onto Facebook and my Christian family and friends flood my news feed. How easy it would be to just set a little money aside, put in applications, and just assume that all things will come to fruition as they should. How freeing I imagine it to be.
Because the way I stress isn’t necessarily a healthy way of dealing with things. But my experience and my Gods tell me, “if you want something done, prove it and put in the work.” And if it fails, the weight of that sits upon my and Sir Joshimus’s shoulders. Because nothing that is handed to you by another – be they benefactor, God, or parent – has as much worth as that which you have done for yourself, gotten for yourself, or made yourself. But that doesn’t mean turning your back on any help. It isn’t all or nothing. The older I get the more I come to realize that strength is being able to shoulder the burdens and responsibilities of our life and wisdom is knowing when to carry it and when to set it aside.
I never ask my Gods to handle it all, to take all my burdens from me and do the heavy lifting. Can They? Of course. An’Dagda can carry all of my burdens on those powerful shoulders of His and never notice the weight, for His might is greater than all others. But what would I learn from handing them over to another? What satisfaction would I gain? And how could I then complain when it isn’t as I want it to be? But when I grow weary, I can set the burden aside – not forever but for a night, or a week, or whatever I time I need to recover. And I can do that, understanding and knowing that the distance between where I am and where I wish to be won’t necessarily close. Sometimes, a blessing comes into our life and carries us and our burdens a short way. A gift from family, a friend who has something they no longer need that we might, our Gods bringing an opportunity we weren’t expecting that moves us closer to our goal. But we cannot and will not build our future on the hope of these blessings doing the work for us. We build our future with our own hands and are grateful for the help when it does surprise us.
So today, I’ve spent time doing research and pouring over our budget for the end of the year. And now, I’m going to step away from the stress and worry. I’m going to set those burdens aside and trust in the plan we’ve laid and our ability to follow the path we’ve set. I’m going to go read one of my favorite blogs and I’m going to dream as I wait on Sir Joshimus to get home from work. I wish all of you the strength to carry your burdens, and the wisdom to know when to let them rest.