Recently, I took part in a team-building exercise with my Pechi associates. It was a great day and one of our experiences was to do a sort of team relay race. My piece of the race was to balance a broom handle that was about five feet long in one hand, with a water balloon in the other hand and walk up a path without losing the stick or the balloon and then break the balloon over a plant. It was the perfect metaphor of how we often try to handle work related issues or problems of life.
Sometimes we’re asked to carry a burden we can’t really put down or win. The task has a hoped for outcome and expectation of how it should be delivered. The hope, the expectation and the outcome all feel impossible. Trying to deliver the impossible, with no strategy for potential ways to actually get to the winning outcome, can cause you to feel like you’re suddenly in the race by yourself.
In business and often in life, perception is reality. Consider the fairytale woman who is asked to spin a room full of straw into gold. She ponders the options, realizes there is no way she can actually do it, so she ultimately sells her firstborn child to get the job magically done. Of course, when those who requested the straw be turned to gold, see she did it, with no idea what it actually cost her to do it, they create a bigger room with more straw and ask that it be done again.
You may not be giving up your first born child to get a task done, but you may be giving up your integrity, your brilliant ideas, or your heart in one way or another. You may be juggling so many projects at once, you hardly can keep your hands in the air, much less balance the tasks. The sticks are sure to fall.
It was interesting in terms of the relay race, that those of us pondering how to do the task, opted for ways we could improvise, “cheat” if you will, to get the job done. We could cup the stick in our hand, put it somewhat between our finger tips, rest it a bit on our shoulders and still manage to get the water balloon to the intended site. The task required a certain amount of creative flexibility to get it done, somewhat like spinning a room full of straw into gold.
The point is that sometimes you have to solve problems that don’t have easy outcomes. You may be walking with job loss in one hand and college loans in the other, or health challenges in one hand and fading dreams in the other. The point is that the tasks are real and the burdens are too. The good news is that our reality, our tasks come with a built in help button.
Jesus told His followers and He tells us today, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
I know that many of us are just plain weary. We’ve been trying to stay encouraged and balance all the pieces over and over again. So let’s take another look at what we’re carrying. Let’s perform each task with love and determination, but be willing to let go of those that are actually impossible for us, where the way has not been made clear. We can hand those over to the One who already knows how to create a winning outcome.
When you’ve been given a task by your Maker, He provides the way to get it done. It doesn’t require a juggling act, a bit of magic or a nervous breakdown to get to the finish line. If it does, lay the burden down because it’s not meant for you. Hand it off and find a new path.
Galatians 6 tells us to “carry each other’s burdens.” If one of us carries the stick and the other one carries the balloon, we’ll both have a much better chance of getting the job done. Here, let me lend you a hand.