Kitty Hawk and Magic Carpets

Air travel has become so much a part of our daily lives it is hard to believe that just over a century ago, it was purely the realm of dreamers and science fiction writers. Imagine being alive in the early years of the 20th century, perhaps being one of the first people to fly on those early airplanes. Suddenly you lift into the air, seemingly light as a bird and the horizon opens up. The clouds are no longer a flat tableau above you but strata of fog that have height and depth. The very air itself becomes a broad and expansive highway. It would totally remake the concept you have of your world. It would unalterably change your perception of the possible.

I posit to you that life in Jesus Christ is no less momentous a change.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-30

Have been dragging around guilt for past mistakes and sins? Pain from injustice and suffering enacted upon you?

Jesus offers you rest from that.

Does the thought of one more empty religious ritual put your stomach in a knot? Does it seem like as hard as you try you just can’t kick that evil habit or reach the virtue to which you aspire?

Jesus offers you rest from that.

Are you afraid of God? Do you keep looking over your shoulder, waiting for lightning or worse?

Jesus offers you rest from that.

There is some agricultural terminology here that, while common knowledge in Jesus’ day, is lost on us. Two things you need to know about yokes to really understand Jesus’ offer here:

  1. A well fitted yoke allows an animal to apply as much force as it can without injuring itself. It sits, it doesn’t rub. An easy yoke does not mean there is no work; it means the work will not do you harm.
  2. A yoke sits between two animals. If we are learning from Jesus, it is because He is beside us, pulling with and for us. Jesus offers us a partnership here.

The rest is a change. A new way of living life, one that does not degrade our souls but restores them.

I was thinking about another invitation this week, from the movie Aladdin. Aladdin brings his magic carpet to Princess Jasmine’s balcony. Floating in mid-air, he holds out his hand. Jasmine hesitates. Aladdin looks into her eyes and asks: “Do you trust me?”

Jesus is looking into our souls, seeing the pain and struggle. He looks into our eyes and asks: “There is a better way, but… do you trust Me?”

Lord, I am weak, wayward and faulty. But I trust You.

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