I’m pushing a lighter load these days. I don’t mean that in the figurative sense. I mean, literally, I’m pushing a lighter load. This is because my oldest child recently went to full-day kindergarten, and now when I get the chance to sneak in a jog during the day, I push a single stroller rather than a double.
I’ll never forget the first time I ran with just one child in the stroller, after years of pushing two. I couldn’t believe how much easier it was to run. I felt like a cheetah; like an Olympian. (In all actuality, my very slow running upgraded to moderately slow running. Still, it was a definite speed upgrade.)
It was such a remarkable moment for me, I took this rather unremarkable photo of a blurry kid being pushed along in a hand-me-down jogging stroller.
I’ve been looking at this photo from time to time, because it reminds me to keep my load in check.
See, I have a tendency to weigh myself down with more than I need to push. I have a tendency to pile worry upon worry on my shoulders, then wonder why it’s so hard to keep moving forward. In this season of life when my literal load has lightened, I’m making a fierce commitment to keep my worries from weighing me down, slowing me down, and rendering me ineffective.
The worries still pop up, perhaps more than ever before. Sending your kid to school for the first time brings a laundry list of potential worries, and our family is on the horizon of some big changes which I could certainly spend plenty of time worrying about. I have worries that pop up on behalf of loved ones, an endless list of what-if worries, and of course the typical mom worries that I’m doing some minuscule thing wrong and inadvertently messing up my kids for life.
Yes, the worries still pop up. It’s just that I’m refusing to carry them. I’m saying no to pushing more than I need to push. I’m tossing those worries up in prayer, in a sort of one-way game of hot potato I’m playing with God. Over and over again, sometimes hundreds of times per day, those worries pop up and I’m tossing them up. May God give me the strength to keep doing it, and the wisdom to discern what’s mine to carry, and what’s His to hold.
Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (Matt 6:27)
Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matt 6:24)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. (Phil 4:6-7)