Sunday afternoon when I arrived home from church and the monthly movie that followed the service, I found myself feeling tired, so I flopped down on the couch, grabbed the remote control, and started searching for something worthy of watching.
I decided on the movie "Freedom Writers." This is a movie about a young, optimistic teacher who, on her first teaching assignment finds herself "burdened" with a classroom filled with disobedient, disinterested high school students. Now, I'm not going to tell you how the rest of the story goes, I would not want to spoil your enjoyment of a truly worthy...and true...story.
One phrase in the movie went straight to my heart. It was "Blessed with a burden." The teacher had the choice of feeling put-upon and dragged down by this burden, as well as refusing to accept it, or to do that which was hers to do. The true burden on her heart was to reach the lost young people she saw before her. She saw the potential as well as the problem, and accepted the challenge.
From the moment the teacher decided to accept the challenge before her, she was ignited with the faith, strength and energy to do that which was to be done by her. This did not mean her road was easy. Again...watch it for yourself. No "spoilers" here.
Wordsworth said, "...trailing clouds of glory do we come from God, who is our home..." And I believe along with the glory we each carry a mission; a purpose, a desire to manifest the heaven we came from, in the world we have come to. We are each blessed with a burden.
The word "burden" has a negative meaning for many people. Today I would like to invite you to see this word in a different way. Consider these definitions: That which is carried, load. Nautical: The weight of a ships' cargo. Also, the main point, message, or theme, or a recurring idea. Music: the refrain or recurring chorus of a song.
Jesus' burden was not to carry our sins, but to show us how to overcome, and prove what He said was true through his actions. Martin Luther King Jr.'s burden was racial equality and Oneness of all people. The Buddha's burden was attaining and sharing the teaching and practices of enlightenment. Bob Hope's burden was to bring joy to men and women in the midst of joyless wars.
All of my life a burden that I was blessed with was a desire for world peace through understanding; enlightenment, and Oneness with God for all, that I believe is the Truth of our Being. My "formal" mission statement is "To know, love and serve God as I inspire others to do likewise." The call to ministry I received over 20 years ago was the path I was given to "lay down" my burden.
Ministry is not an easy road...in fact when we first entered the Unity Ministerial Program, we were advised, "If there's anything else you can do...anything...do it!" In Truth...for me there is nothing else I could do. The thought of NOT learning, living and sharing the powerful, Universal Principles of Truth is the unbearable burden.
The burden you have been blessed with is avoidable, but it is not optional. You will find your burden "burdensome" only when you are not doing that which is yours to do. The words from a verse of "He Ain't Heavy" say it beautifully for me:
"So on we go, His welfare is of my concern. No burden is he to bear, We'll get there. For I know, He would not encumber me, He ain't heavy, he's my brother..."