A couple of birthdays ago my wife bought me a Fitbit. This handy little device clips into my shirt pocket and measures the number of steps I take, the number of stairs I climb, the distance I walk or run, the calories I consume, etc. I can even wear it on a wristband at night, and in the morning it tells me how long and how well I have slept. I am challenged constantly by my Fitbit to take more exercise and sleep longer, and I feel better for it.
Fitbit sends me a weekly email telling me how well I have done (or not as the case may be some weeks). I also receive an annual summary. My Fitbit summary for 2014 makes interesting reading. It tells me that I walked 1,373 miles and took nearly three million steps during the course of the year. My most active month was April and my most active day was 31 October. Why April and 31 October? Well in April we attend a Christian event in the UK called Spring Harvest where the car doesn’t move all week and we walk everywhere. On 31 October it was the Hereford Baptist Church Light Party. This takes place in a local park and the volunteers for this alternative to Halloween walk back and forth and all over the place to set up the event, during the Light Party, and at the end when everything has to be taken down and back to church.
The message from my Fitbit appears to be that being a Christian is hard work. The question is should it be? Last week I wrote about being blessed by the people at church who just get on and get things done. Sadly, these people are often in the minority. I guess if we are working at church for the right reasons, if we bless others with our work, and if we feel blessed doing it, then we are working with the right motive. The danger comes when being a follower of Jesus and serving at church becomes a chore rather than a blessing. Jesus said (as one fellow blogger commented last week):
“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 NLT)
We all carry heavy burdens from time-to-time, some of us more than others. I don’t know why, but I do wonder if it is because we haven’t been listening to Jesus? If our faith and our acts of service have become heavy burdens then could it be because we are struggling with the wrong yoke?