Friday, December 17, 2010

Shouldering Unnecessary Burdens

Why, oh why, do we do this to ourselves? The holiday season rolls in on Black Friday, and even some of the most well-meaning homeschool and Christian families find themselves stressed and overwhelmed with all the "holiday activity" because they forgot that little command - "do not be conformed to this world..." Ring a bell?

During the very time intended for us to reflect on God's precious gift of salvation - during the time full of opportunity to spend time with loved ones - we instead jump right in with the world and tie ourselves to all sorts of festivities and obligations. Not that activities such as holiday parties, recitals, plays, and shopping are wrong in and of themselves. It's just when we allow the abundance of those things to interfere with the truly important that we run into trouble.

The really unfortunate thing is that many who fall into this trap don't really seem to notice at all. Their crazy schedule during the holidays is only slightly worse than their schedule is normally. How many homeschool families do you see who profess with their mouth that they chose that path at least in part to simplify and have more time together as a family, yet have each child involved in a myriad of activities independent from the rest of the family? I've known homeschool moms whose schedule and stress level (and daily miles on the minivan!) would put any ole' traditional soccer mom to shame. Again, it's not that extracurricular activities are wrong in and of themselves, but is all that running around really helping you accomplish your dreams and goals for your family? Is it helping to accomplish God's purposes for your family?

It is okay to say "no" sometimes.

Some reel at the thought of adding family devotions or other simple family-centered activities to their already packed schedules, yet don't think twice before adding another sport practice, social event, or dance class. We pile unnecessary burdens upon our backs, and then whine about what a horrible burden the truly important things are. 

You know, God's commandments are not burdensome when God is your priority. Neither is time invested in your family burdensome when family is put in its proper place. When we do things God's way, rather than our own way, we really do find rest. His yoke is indeed easy, and His burden light. It's all the other stuff that weighs us down.

We all (myself included!) each ought to take a minute to evaluate our priorities, comparing them with those outlined for us in scripture. This holiday season, and in the upcoming year, let's not toil under the heavy burdens of this world while neglecting the truly important. As Christians, that's not the pattern we're supposed to follow anyway! 

You'll never have another chance to live today. One hundred years from now, is what you did really going to matter?

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