Backpack Theology

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“Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you” psalm 55:22

Ah tomorrow is the first day of school for my children… This past week as I shopped for school supplies, and new backpacks to carry these supplies, I thought about the discussion we had during charismatic prayer group on Monday night. My friends imagery of unburdening ourselves… taking things out of our backpacks … not just giving it all to God but also unburdening ourselves from all we do not need… and not just physical things.

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

This reminded me of a lesson I taught a year or two ago for Children’s Liturgy. I cannot recall what gospel reading I was discussing with the children … but to help the children understand the scripture verses I had a backpack filled with rocks on my back weighing me down. I had the kids take the rocks out of my backpack one at a time. On each rock I wrote one of the deadly sins and other such “bad” things (I didn’t write all the deadly sins!). Once the backpack was empty I reveled a garbage bag filled with balloons. On each balloon was something “good” such as “love” “joy” “charity” “sharing” “giving”… stuff like that. I had the kids read each balloon and put the balloons in the backpack. I was showing the children how sin weighs us down. How we need to fill our lives (our backpack) with good things (virtues)… gifts of the Holy Spirit… how free and light we will be. We, as adults, need to also remember to do this frequently …review what is burdening us and get rid of the bad stuff (go to confession!).

Funny thing… after church that day I didn’t know what to do with my “sin” rocks… so I dumped them out back behind my yard. Someday someone will find them and wonder why someone wrote “greed” “Hate” and “sloth” on rocks… hahaha.

Also …while my friend discussed unburdening ourselves during prayer group I remembered a poem I wrote during the first year of my re-version (2005), “Small Drop of Rain.” I remember writing that poem in a haze, so into writing it I could only see the creation of the poem and nothing else. I remember where I was and that my husband was getting ready for work that morning while I was wrapped up in my collection of words. I definitely think I had divine help with it….

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Small Drop of Rain

God hands me simplicity

in a small drop of rain

This is all that you need,”

He smiles as He explains,

Just keep life simple

enjoy the small wonders,

a laugh from a child

the crack of the thunder.

Believe in the beauty

the wonder

the glory

don’t complicate life

with frantic worry and hurry.

Slow down

breath in

taste each separate day.

Believe I am with you

guiding your way.

You are here for a purpose,”

He winks and smiles broader,

Lose all the baggage

that makes it much harder.

Those possessions are worthless,”

He laughs with his eyes,

You can’t take it with you,”

He reaches around and unties…

And it all drops away

No more burdens, no more pain.

And He nods as He leaves me

with His small drop of rain.

As we begin this new school year let us all get rid of all that is burdening us and live simpler lives….
 

“…let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,” Hebrews 12:1

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