The anxiety of our mission causes us to act out in a million different ways. The burden of responsibility, that our lots place on us, causes us to feel like we are balancing the weight of the world on a toothpick. Ecclesiastes 6:18-20 says “Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with one toils under the sun the few days of his life, that God has given for him , for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil- this is a gift from God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.”
The word for lot here, is the same Hebrew word for inheritance and reward. Lot seems to stifle the majesty of it all, we think of a small piece of the pie, a corner section, a sliver or morsel but that’s too small of a perception. We are given a wealth, an “entire pie”. You have not been short changed by God…and neither have I. Yet, the weight of discontentment morphs our reward into toil. Instead of accepting the grace given, we contemplate it. Deciphering and weighing every ounce we have. We compare contributions. We marry value and accomplishments, comparing our “lots” with others, thus divorcing joy from responsibility. Could it be that instead of being weighed down with joy over our “lot”, we are burdened by it? That perhaps the weight of responsibility has crushed joy like a coke can?
Our lot is the perimeters God has set around our lives, where we would be given authority and responsibility. Here in these sacred spots, we live life. We finish school, hang with friends, get a job, get a husband, have babies, clean the house, buy a car, go to church, serve in the church, plant a garden and march to the beat of the clock. With each passing tick, the opportunity to bring God’s kingdom to earth passes. We scoot and scat, trying to keep things in line. Yet, in the process, the responsibility given to us grows heavy as duty crushes our dreams. The gifts showered on us from on high to bring the kingdom into the present, is wasted.
Enjoyment comes with acceptance; acceptance of the current. Yet, many of us are slaves to the future. We are mesmerized by it, caught under its spell, we bow to its demands and bend to accommodate its desires, even if it costs us the present. Occupied with what is to come instead of what is, the weight of the future is strapped to our hearts like a overloaded cargo wagon. The future can be heavy, we strain and stumble over what might be. For the future rests in the governmental care of providence. Yet, when we bring the future into the moment, we become occupied with it, taking responsibility for it. The weight of responsibility the future brings, drags joy under the current of pursuit and drowns it under the waves of discontentment.
Providence can be a heavy thing for humans to bear. And that’s exactly what we are doing when we pose as God, directing and dictating the ways of the future, thinking and believing that our ways are better. We plot and plan but to no avail. We chase after something that alludes us. We sacrifice the joy of the moment for the promise of the future. We figure and fidget, trying to fix the future before it ever arrives. We can’t bear that responsibility.
The future was meant to stay where it is. Yet, we insist on bringing it into the present, with its troubles and pains. It outweighs our ability to withstand. What do we do when providential purpose turns into a burden? when the future grows too heavy?
Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord and He will sustain you…” Providence is much to heavy for us to carry, we must cast it onto the shoulders of the One from who it comes. We were never meant to wrestle with what is to come, but to trust in the One who is and was and is to come. The great I AM encompasses both future and present, He precedes our past and sees the mystery of the future. Many times we take up a burden that we were never meant to bear. How many hours do we spend contemplating and dissecting the future? Only to no avail. Toiling after wind causes us to miss the gift of the present, the wonder in the moment.
A marvelous things happens when we no longer try and be the boss of our own destinies; provision. Providence always brings provision. Provision that transcends the moment and meets the future need before we arrive, He catapults grace so it will be there when the future collides with the moment. Creating fertile ground for joy to grow in our hearts.