This morning I left my usual spot in the Rancho, seeking quiet. Somewhere free of conversation and activity, allowing me to do the work I had in front of me. Ending up in a small corner behind the poolside bar area, I had the freedom to hide in plain sight, a perfect view to take in, and a breeze over the water that was slightly cooler than the rest of the heavy air that had clung to me all morning.
The story I told myself was that I just needed some space, some quiet… a little time free of any outside distractions- but in reality, I knew most of the distractions reside in my mind these days.
It took all of 2.5 minutes for me to lose focus and notice the ant.
As I sat there for the next two hours, every few minutes I would notice him trotting from one area of the counter to the other. Running a pattern that I’m fairly certain made no logical sense, carrying his load the whole time. To be honest, he looked a bit lost and all I could think was, “Isn’t he tired of carrying that stupid leaf?”
As with any good moment of distraction, epiphanies follow.
It struck me.
The last few weeks, this was what I felt. Like I have been spinning inward circles, carrying a burden bigger than my body.
Isn’t it interesting how when we have burdens, and when we are feeling weighed down by the battle of being human, that we do not do what would make the most sense?
Stop turning in circles.
Put the leaf down.
Rest and refocus.
Find the right path.
The simplest of solutions, yet we are so attached to the weights that are dragging on our hearts we forget that we can make the decision to put them down.
They grow to be a part of us. Straining every muscle, while we wander around lost.
Its hard. To let go of the weights. We fear what will happen if we let go…
“How is this going to affect me?”
“What if I don’t like my life without this thing?”
“What if I don’t recognize myself anymore?”
“What about my heart? Will it be smashed into a million pieces?”
So rather than live in freedom, we live in fear. We decide that the risk of pain, heartbreak, or losing our really valuable “leaf” is too much. It could cost, and that would cause irreparable damage. But what we don’t realize is that the damage is already happening to us, and around us and it is just that, irreparable and worsening by the moment.
That’s when a decision needs to be made. And often times the decision needs to be made yourself. Other people can attempt to point you in the right direction, to give you ideas on how to set the burden down, how to rest and move forward. But only you can decide for your own life, and your own spiritual and emotional health, what is best.
It brings me to my point…
After 4 incredible months in Guatemala, it’s time for a break. It’s time to set a few burdens down. It’s time to refresh and take the opportunity to sleep through the night. To walk away from certain situations that are weighing heavy on my heart.
A 10 day break at home, with my family, and my friends… it’s what I know I need to continue. To do what the Lord has called me to do well. Because at the end of it all, that is what I want- to do this life well, and to do what I’ve been called to do.
So, should you find yourself in the Upstate NY area between the 17th and 27th of May… look me up.
I’ll be the one resting, mumbling something about a leaf.