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  • Writer's pictureJane Wheeler


What does the word freedom mean to you?

I think freedom is one of those things, kind of like a rainbow, where we get glimpses but can never truly catch the whole thing. You can see it, usually from a distance, it feels glorious, but you never quite master the art of finding the end of it or actually grabbing hold of it.

At the moment I am sitting outside contentedly tucked up near a campfire. The sky is speckled blue and the trees are slightly peppered with the yellow leaves of fall. Occasionally a gentle breeze blows through the leaves and they dance and sway with their music. There is a kettle of coffee perking over the fire playing with the aroma of the breeze. I can faintly hear the birds chirping in the trees and now and then I hear a squirrel chattering away in the distance.

At this moment I feel free; but two hours ago I was not.

I was emotionally stressed over a matter. It has been causing me to not sleep, it has affected me physically. I am overtired and feel like crying at the drop of a hat, it has taken its toll mentally. I have wanted to run and grab my favorite junk food and eat my stress away. I have watched more Matlock tv this week than I have ever in my whole life watched.

Oh, I have prayed, I have talked to God but I still feel “under” this.

I ask you, where is the freedom “under your problems?” Problems bear down forcibly on you with a weight humanly impossible to move.

What changed from two hours ago until now?

One is nature: as I sit looking around me at the splendor of nature, it is hard to feel anything but awe for the beauty.

Two, I poured out my problem to a trusted friend who was able to counsel me and pray for me. She gently reminded me that it appeared that I was carrying a load that I was not supposed to be carrying, it was not even my load to carry. While I bowed low attempting to carry this load, that was not even mine, I was spent, physically, mentally and emotionally. She reminded me that only God is able to bear those kind of loads. Her wisdom was accurate and right on. I was able to shift the load over to the one who could actually carry it – God. I was not actually able to do anything about fixing the matter anyways, I just thought I could.

The lightness I felt after this conversation was palatable.

We need each other you and I. We cannot operate in a vacuum of isolation because we can often get weighed down by the loads that come our way. It would be wonderful if we could sit outside and enjoy nature all day long, but life is not really like that.

Are you trying to carry loads that do not actually belong to you?

Are you straining under some forced pressure?

Perhaps, you need a walk in nature, a talk with God and some counsel of a good friend to regroup, and revamp your perspective.

Ask yourself, is this a load that you can actually do anything about besides worry?

If you answer is "no, I physically cannot change anything," then you too my friend may be carrying an impossible load and it might be time to “lighten up” a bit, literally.

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