Let me Carry Your Camera Bag! Seeds to Life, Part 1

The Matterhorn, Switzerland

The older I get, the harder it is for me to carry a heavy camera around, especially with both my heavy wide-angle and zoom lenses. The laws of gravity dictate that there is a steady "downward" pull from my neck. Before I know it, my shoulders sag and pain shoots out in all different directions, covering all the major cardinal points of my back. Ouch!!!!

My hearing also appears to be failing. One day my wife and kids noticed my sagged shoulders and the pendulous way the camera bag swung from my bowed neck, and they called out, "Let me carry your camera for you!" One of them even tried to lift my burden from my shoulders.

No one succeeded though. I held onto my prized possession with all of my remaining strength. "No," I said, rather adamantly. "I don't want you to have to be bogged down with my burdens!"

It wasn't the end of the story, however. Persistence seems to be my family's specialty. Unfortunately, stubbornness seems to be mine! And the worst part is that this happened not once, but on several occasions: In Zermatt when facing the impressive Matterhorn; in Salzburg, while climbing up the hill of the Kapuzinenberg …

Finally it dawned on me that I was acting like a complete moron. Actually, it was my back that succeeded in convincing me! After all, I have two strong teenage boys. I mean, they could carry the rock of Gibraltar and they wouldn't even feel the strain. Why was I stubbornly clinging to something that only caused deep pain to penetrate every part of my back? Was I showing a good example? Was I showing I cared for my family by purposefully crippling myself?

To their surprise, I eventually let them rob me of my weighty matters, and to my surprise, I was met with smiles of thanks! Imagine that! By giving up my burden, I made their day! And best of all, my back was very thankful!

Isn't it true that we so often hear without comprehending? We hear the words that are said, but for some reason they don't reach our hearts. How frustrating this must be to those who take the time to reach out to us! Why don't we instead, take the time to let the words sink into our minds? Why do we cling to silly things that drag us down? Why don't we listen for once?

James encourages us to: "…be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry…" (James 1:19 NIV) Pretty good advice, isn't it?

Jesus was well aware of this human tendency to be slow to listen. With the parable of the good soil, He tells us: "They may be ever seeing but never perceiving, and ever hearing but never understanding; otherwise they might turn and be forgiven!" (Mark 4:12 NIV) In His further explanation of the parable, He explains in details about this state of the heart: "Some people are like seed along the path, where the word is sown. As soon as they hear it, Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them." (Mark 4:15 NIV)

They hear without understanding. They see without perceiving. Why?

"Satan comes and takes away the word that was sown in them."

If we don't listen, God's Word cannot germinate in our hearts, and before we know it, the Words of Truth are snatched up by the old devil himself!

The same is true with us believers. Jesus promised us: "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28 NIV)

Many church goers, however, complain constantly about their circumstances and how tired they are.

Is Jesus not keeping His word?

Not at all! We simply are not letting Him give us that "rest". In order to receive it, we have to come to Him!

It's just like me and my camera bag. I had to let my kids' words sink into my heart before I realized their value and was relieved of my burdens! In the same way, we have to not only hear Jesus' words, but we must also apply them in our hearts before we can truly experience Him. If we don't, the evil one will rob us of God's promises!

How many blessings have been passed by because of our inattentive listening skills! Some even missed the boat completely! What a tragedy! However if you hear these words today and let them sink into your heart, it isn't too late to accept Jesus' offer and experience His rest from this hectic world.

"Can I carry your camera bag?"

"Absolutely! You can even carry my suitcases as well. Free of charge!"

Rob Chaffart

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