Sunday, July 16, 2006
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Matthew 11:28-30 – Come to me, all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (ESV)

Being a belt and braces (suspenders) man, I have always carried both a chain and a cable on my bicycle to deter any casual miscreant. However, all this security comes at a cost. The galvanized chain is a quarter-inch-thick chain-link, with two extended-loop brass padlocks: heavy!

The other day, a colleague of mine told me he needed to cycle to another campus to attend a meeting. He had lost his chain, and without a chain to secure his bike at the other end, he was concerned it would not be there for his return. I offered him my chain, and thought no more of it. I have had it for thirty years, and although it is extremely functional, I was not unduly concerned. These days I have also the hardened multi-strand cable, which is more than capable to suffice for security.

As I rode home, I reflected half-heartedly upon the journey that I faced up the hill homeward with my post-Easter chocolate weight gain. To my delight, I found that the gradual ascent I made up the incline was not as tiring as I had expected.

It dawned on me that this was because I no longer carried the chain, which is usually secured to the rear of the bicycle. I was thus a few pounds lighter. Every pound counts when you pedal up a hill! As I continued to journey onwards, the truth of this unexpected boon hit home, and I discerned the underlying message that percolated upwards.

Some things that we have acquired from the world — because they have always been there — may not necessarily be a part of God's will for us to continue to carry. Just maybe, God wants to take them off our hands — if we let Him — to make our loads lighter as we go forward.

Prayer: Lord, we rejoice that You put Your body where our sin is. You bought back the price of our failure, and in so doing, provided a way forward for anyone who is willing to trust in this precious gift of forgiveness and release. Today as we once more open up to You our hearts and minds, we say, "Yes!" Remove the chains that weigh us down, deliver us from evil, and grant us Your healing peace within. In the name of Jesus, we pray. Amen.

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Rod Marshall <>
Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England

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