A few years ago DawnCheré and I had the opportunity to go to England while I completed a study abroad course. One weekend a group of us went mountain climbing in the Lake District. It was more of a hike, really, but mountain climbing sounds more extreme. There were about twenty-five of us in the group, people of all ages and abilities, plus our guide.
The guide was no joke. He was prepared for the worst, and something told me he was hoping it would happen. From his equipment to his clothing to his demeanor, the man was a true professional.
We started our ascent, and he pushed us hard. He kept yelling, "We stay together. We finish together."
Halfway through the climb, there was one young woman who kept falling to the back of the pack. Time and time again, our guide scaled back and walked with her, all the while encouraging her not to give in. Finally, she came to a breaking point. She was too exhausted and discouraged to keep going.
The guide went over to her. "Are you okay?"
"No," she said, in tears. "This is too much for me. I can't do it."
"I know you can make it to the top, we just have to make a weight shift."
"What are you talking about?" she said.
"Give me your backpack."
The fatigued young woman said, "But then you will be carrying two packs. It's too much weight."
The guide looked at her and laughed. "Trust me. I've done this before." Then he grabbed her pack and almost jogged to the front of the line. We all made it to the top that day.
I've never forgotten his words: "We just have to make a weight shift." I think Jesus, the guide of our lives, is saying the same thing to you and me. "You can do this. You can stay the course. You can finish the race. Just make a weight shift."
What weights are holding you back? What burdens are you bearing that you were never designed for? It's time to make a weight shift. It's time to transfer your cares and concerns and anxieties to the only one capable of handling them.
If you are tired, if you are weary, if you are ready to quit, come to Jesus. Take his yoke upon you. Learn from him. Rest in him. Cast your cares upon him. Trust in his ability to carry you through. Listen for the confident, passionate voice of your Savior and guide: "Trust me, I've done this before. I'll carry your weight, and I'll get you to the top. Friend, let's make a weight shift."