Do you carry too much around during the day? I do. Last night, when I left work, I left my keys in the lab. That’s a nuisance. I had my car keys, so I could go home, but when I got to work today, I had to walk through the hospital to the office of a friend who has keys to the building, borrow her keys, and then come back and get into the lab to recover my own. After I finished all this walking, I sat my computer bag and purse on the floor. What a relief!!! I wondered just how much these two items weigh.
Working in a lab has advantages, so I pulled out the balance (scale), and weighed them. My purse weighs 1750 grams. My computer bag topped out the balance – it weighs more than the highest capacity of my balance. Not to be deterred, I carried the bag down to the basement, and weighed in on the balance down there (which is heavy duty). My bag weighs 6250 grams.
Sorry – work in a lab, and speak metric. If I converted those numbers correctly (meaning, if I chose the right web page for the conversion), then those two items, that I carry on my left shoulder every day, weigh a combined 17.6 pounds. Too much. I have to carry them on my left shoulder because, and here’s a fact that you probably don’t need to know, my right shoulder slopes to the floor, and refuses to carry shoulder-strapped items. They slide right off.
I wish I were like my right shoulder.
I’ve been carrying a weight around for several months now. It isn’t new, but for some reason has seemed intensified this year. It’s heavier than it has been in the past; not huge and not all-encompassing, but lately heavier than I remember it being before.
I know this is all vague, but I’m doing that on purpose.
I’ve been gnawing on it. Do you ever do that? Do you ever just walk around and gnaw on a problem? Chew on something long enough, and it gets tough and annoying. I’ve talked about it. I’ve tossed it around in my head as I drive to work. I’ve been alternately angry and sad about it, but whatever the emotion, the gnawing – the preoccupation – has remained. I’ve tried praying about it – probably not as much as I should have. At one point, I thought I had given it to God, but God can’t take it, if I don’t let go of it, so I kept on gnawing.
Part of The Plan is that I set aside time each morning to pray. It’s not very much time, and on some days it is less time than on other days. I never really know what the conversation is going to be about, so I was kind of surprised this morning when the first subject on the list was this preoccupation of mine. I started praying, and finally I knew what I needed to pray for. All that talking; all that car time finally paid off, I suppose, and I knew what I needed to say. So I did. It was as if God said, “Finally. I’ve been waiting. I’ve known what you needed, but you needed to know yourself before you could accept it.”
So I received a gift this morning:
The ability to forgive
It feels right. It feels complete. If feels like I’ve dropped a heavy weight and have been gifted with relief. It feels like peace. I know it sounds rather immediate and sudden, but it hasn't been. I've been working toward this for a while. I imagine the reason that it has been so heavy lately is that it was time for it to go.
I'm not going to second guess this gift. I'm not going to qualify it, or pick at it, or doubt its validity. It is grace, and I'm just going to accept it. And dance a little bit.
As the song says, “I’m coming up to breathe.” And the air up here is FINE.
Image: Our church and one of the few remaining trees still decorated for fall.