Wednesday, February 16, 2011


My family loves to play games. When we’re outside, one of my kid’s favorite things to do is set up an obstacle course. They love to set it up, and then time each one of us to see who can finish the quickest.

We also enjoy indoor games. Some of these are traditional board games, but some are very creative. For Christmas, we got a game called Creationary. This is a Lego game where you have to build what is shown on the card, and the other players have to guess what it is. Trust me, it is not as easy as it sounds!

We have one game that we have played for years. My kids don’t seem to outgrow it. It’s called Buckaroo! (The exclamation point is part of the game title.) The front of the box reads, “The saddle stacking game with a moody mule!”
The game comes with a plastic mule named “Roo” which attaches to a flat base. A plastic “blanket” is placed on his back, and then a saddle. The saddle has places on both sides to hang items for Roo to carry. However, if too much is added, or if you are not gentle enough placing the item, Roo will buck due to a tension spring in his backside. When he bucks, all of the pieces fly off and the one who triggered the spring is out of the game. Play resumes until the last one makes Roo buck.

We all love playing this game. You never know what will set Roo off. Sometimes, we can place all of the pieces on him and he still doesn’t buck. If that happens, we start over. Other times, only one item hung on the saddle will cause him to kick. You simply never know when it will happen, which is the fun of the game.

In many ways, I believe we are like Roo. We go through our normal day, doing the normal things we have to do. If that was all, then we would probably be fine. However, life comes along and adds things to our load.

The car won’t start when we head out in the morning. Add one piece to the saddle. The boss tells you that layoffs are coming. Add another piece. You find out your child has detention. Add another piece. Bill collectors call during supper. Add another piece. Once again, you open the door to a house where no one lives but you. Add yet, another piece.

All of these pieces add up. The things that burden you may be a lot different than any I described, but they are there and are very real, nonetheless. The problem is that we were never made to carry around the weight of those burdens. When we try to carry them around, we will eventually either buck and kick like Roo or simply collapse. Neither is healthy for us or helpful to the work of Christ’s Kingdom.

Should we care and be concerned about daily life? Sure, but not to the point of being crippled by it. Jesus tells us very specifically to not worry about the things we cannot control. He says that He would supply our needs.

Too many times, we have cares, worries, and burdens that we keep inside. We should, however, seek God through His word, and give Him our burdens through prayer. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus says, “Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Jesus intends to carry us through any problems or concerns in our lives. Don’t buck, kick or collapse. Ask Jesus to help you, and He will be faithful to ease your load.

Then Jesus said to His disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. For life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest? (Luke 12:22-26 NIV)